Michael A. Ferraro, Esq., P.C.
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How does New York’s ignition interlock program work?

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2020 | DWI defense |

Those accused of impaired driving offenses in New York will face a number of different consequences. The criminal consequences include potential jail time and fines. There are also administrative consequences, which include the mandatory suspension of your license, as well as secondary consequences like difficulty getting a job with a criminal record or increased insurance premiums.

When you do finally get your license back, you will likely have to participate in a court-ordered ignition interlock device (IID) program. Learning a little bit more about how New York handles its IID program can help you strategize to minimize the impact of impaired driving charges on your life and freedom.

Post-conviction IID requirements usually last at least 12 months

New York requires that those who plead guilty or get convicted of felony or misdemeanor impaired driving or aggravated impaired driving charges install an IID in their vehicle as part of the transition back to having their license after a suspension.

These devices prevent you from starting your vehicle if you can’t pass a breath test. They also request tests intermittently while you drive. Some IID units will shut down a vehicle if you don’t perform breath tests. Some of them have cameras to ensure you don’t have someone else perform the test for you. All of them record your results for later analysis.

In most cases, the requirement to maintain an IID in your vehicle will last for at least 12 months after you regain any degree of driving privileges. While you are subject to IID requirements, you will have to pay for the installation and maintenance of an IID. You will also have restrictions on your license that preclude you from driving any vehicle that does not have an IID installed.

A restricted license is typically better than no license at all

For those dealing with the consequences of an impaired-driving arrest or conviction, an IID may seem like just another hardship or punishment. However, getting a restricted license means that you can regain certain freedoms. It can also set you up to establish a history of safe and sober driving that can help you get your license back.

Protecting your right to drive is often one of the more important steps involved in dealing with impaired driving charges in New York.