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Are convicted drunk drivers in New York installing IIDs?

Drivers in New York who face a drunk driving charge are often concerned about how the charge will impact their ability to drive. A conviction on DWI charges usually means being court-ordered to install an ignition interlock device, or IID, so it is generally assumed that 100 percent of drivers who have recently been convicted of a DWI would have an IID installed in their vehicles. However, this is not the case in the northern counties in New York.

Are convicted drunk drivers in New York installing ignition interlock devices in their vehicles? Statistics based on a recent audit of the state comptroller's office indicated that not all drivers convicted of a DWI in several northern counties are installing these court-ordered devices.

According to the data assessed in a recent audit, roughly 26 percent of individuals convicted of a DWI are able to dodge a portion of "Leandra's law." This is the law that requires drivers convicted of a DWI on or after August 15, 2010, must install an IID in any vehicle that the drivers own. While this data suggests that convicted drivers are not complying with the law, this is not essentially the case.

Drivers who are sentenced to probation and are required to have an IID installed are also looking at lengthy driver's license suspensions. Because of that, some convicted drivers opt to take their vehicles off of the roads. Additionally, some drivers are unable to afford the costs associated with IID installation and monitoring, so those driver choose to not operate a vehicle during the period of time that the driver is required to have an IID.

Lastly, some drivers face serious penalties associated with a DWI or have several DWIs on their record. This could result in the driver being unable to be re-licensed for several years, or ever. This would also account for the numbers not adding up.

When a driver faces a DWI, it is important to understand what penalties will result. If convicted, an IID will be required. However, drivers could avoid this consequence by refraining from driving. Because driving is a privilege that many residents in New York seek to keep, it is important to also consider what steps could be taken to defend against a drunk driving charge.

Source: Watertowndailytimes.com, "Ignition interlock device stats miss the mark in state audit, NNY probation departments say," W.T. Eckert, Oct. 16, 2015

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