What is life with an ignition interlock device like?

Drivers in the state of New York who are ordered to use an ignition interlock device should understand how these devices work.

People who live and drive in New York know that the state's laws and penalties for driving while intoxicated are tough. Certainly it is important to keep the public safe but it is also important that the rights of all drivers are respected and treated fairly. It is understandable that people convicted of drunk driving offenses might feel their penalties are extreme. One way to help when facing these consequences is to fully understand them.

One of the consequences associated with any felony or misdemeanor DWI conviction in New York is the installation and use of an Ignition Interlock Device. State law requires that any convicted DWI driver install an IID in any car, truck or other vehicle that they drive or own. This can be required for at least six months and might last 12 months for some drivers. The driver must blow into the device in order to start the vehicle and periodically thereafter to continue driving.

The financial side of using an IID

All costs associated with the use of an ignition interlock device are to be borne by the driver. This includes fees for installation and removal as well as ongoing service or recalibration fees during the time that the device is required to be used.

Vehicle maintenance and repair with an IID

Over the course of six or 12 months it is likely that a vehicle will require some sort of maintenance or repair work. This may be as basic as a tire rotation or oil change or might involve more complex auto mechanic work. Either way, the person or persons working on the vehicle will be required to use the IID just like the defendant according to Intoxalock, an IID manufacturer.

Additional tips may be requested so that they can be given to mechanics for use for these purposes as there is no way to legally disengage the IID system until it is able to be removed.

Everyday life with an IID

A driver who is required to use an IID can only use vehicles that have that device in place; therefore, borrowing or renting a vehicle would most likely be precluded.

It is common for drivers to enjoy a cup of coffee or even a small snack while they are driving. This can become troublesome with an ignition interlock device as some foods and beverages may interfere with accurate device readings. It is recommended that nothing other than water be consumed at least 10 minutes prior to taking a test involving the device.

As stated above, blowing into the device is not only required to start a vehicle but is also required at random times while the vehicle is actively being driven. This will make it difficult for a driver to ever confidently eat or drink while driving with an IID.

Legal help is important

When facing a DWI charge, New York residents should always consult with a lawyer. This provides the opportunity to ask questions and learn about some of the different aspects associated with the penalties and the defense process.