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New York DWI – Ignition & Vehicle Interlock Device

Driving while intoxicated is against the law in every state. People who are caught driving while intoxicated are arrested immediately and charged with a DWI. They are taken to jail, charged with a crime, and they face serious consequences for this act. It’s dangerous. People who are under the influence while driving are not considered safe drivers. Driving while intoxicated can result in deadly accidents, accidents that take away a person’s quality of life if they are seriously injured, and it puts the lives of innocent people on the road in jeopardy.

New York laws have changed quite a bit over the years to ensure those who drink and drive are punished to the full extent of the law. If you’ve never heard of an ignition interlock device, it’s time to learn what it is, how it works, and why the law in New York has introduced this device into the lives of those caught driving under the influence or while intoxicated.

What is this device?

An ignition interlock device is something that’s installed in a car. It’s like a breathalyzer test for ignitions. Once it’s installed in a car, it’s required the driver blows into the device prior to starting the car. If the driver blows into it while drunk, the ignition automatically locks and the car will not start. If the driver is clear and not under the influence, the car will start. It’s required in the vehicles of anyone who is arrested for driving while intoxicated.

The length of time and the specifics are different for each person, but this little device is designed to protect other drivers while allowing people to drive their vehicle even after a DWI arrest. Most people who are arrested and charged with a DWI are permitted to drive on certain occasions, such as to and from work or when medical attention is required. This device is a requirement, and it’s not something people want in their vehicle at any point.

Why is this device required?

It was 2009 when the state enacted this law. It’s referred to as the Leandra Law. When an 11-year-old child by the name of Leandra was in the care of her friend’s mother, she was killed in the car when the friend’s mother caused an accident because she was intoxicated. The response to this accident was awful. Lawmakers decided quickly to enact stronger penalties and consequence for anyone who dares to get behind the wheel of a car while intoxicated.

Now the law requires anyone who is arrested for a DWI after 2010 is required to have an ignition interlock device installed in the vehicle. They must also have this added to their license so all police officers know when someone is breaking the law driving a vehicle that doesn’t belong to them. The standard timeframe for this device in a vehicle is 12 months. However, there are some instances in which a judge decides the driver should have it less than 12 months or even for a longer period of time.

Driving With this Device

One you have this device installed in your car, you must use it each time you start the car. The car will not start if you don’t blow a clean breath. If you attempt to break the law by allowing a child or another adult who has not been drinking to blow into the device for you and you’re caught, you will go back to jail and face even more serious consequences.

If you attempt to drive someone else’s car when you’re intoxicated or even when you are not, getting caught could land you back in jail. The notation of an interlock device on your license prohibits you from renting a car if you try to get away from the law in this manner. You must follow the law if you want to get your license back to its regular status as well as have this device removed from your vehicle.

Call an Attorney

Driving with an interlock device can be more than a little embarrassing. It shows anyone who rides with you that you were arrested and convicted of a DWI. It’s something most people look down upon when they realize you are a dangerous driver, and it can have serious consequences for your future. If you’re arrested and charged with a DWI, you should contact an attorney right away. An attorney can work hard to get your charges dropped or reduced, and they can even make it possible to have this device installed to prevent you from having your license suspended for a year or more. It’s worth a shot to call an attorney and ask for help.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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