Will my DWI result in an ignition interlock device?

Under current New York State law, any driver convicted of drunk driving is required to have ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle. This is regardless of whether the drunk driving conviction was your first misdemeanor offense or whether it was your third felony DWI. Additionally, the convicted driver is required to cover the expenses of installation of the device as well as its ongoing maintenance.

The way that the ignition interlock device operates is that it prevents a drunk driver from starting a vehicle by disrupting the vehicle's ignition system. When the device is installed, a motorist behind the wheel must breathe into a sensor that then determines the driver's blood alcohol content. Put quite simply, the vehicle will not start if the blood alcohol content of the person blowing into the sensor exceeds acceptable parameters.

After most routine DWI convictions, a person is required to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle that he or she owns or operates if he or she wishes to continue driving during a probationary period. This is important because many families have more than one vehicle.

However, in cases of aggravated DWI or any repeated alcohol or drug offenses committed within a five-year period, a judge is required to order that the defendant install ignition interlock devices on each vehicle he or she owns. This order must also remain in effect throughout the entire revocation and probationary period.

If you are a New York resident currently facing DWI charges, then you now know that a conviction can lead to even more expenses than you might have initially expected. However, it is important to remember that an arrest is not the same as a conviction. Every defendant has a right to challenge the validity of any evidence or testimony offered against them. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it may be in your best interests to explore all of your legal options first before agreeing to any plea deal with the prosecutor.


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