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What is an ignition interlock restriction on your license?

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2022 | Drunk Driving |

New York has unique state laws about driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses. One of those unique rules is Leandra’s Law, which imposes an ignition interlock restriction on the license of someone convicted of a DWI.

As you may be able to infer from the name, an ignition interlock restriction limits your driving privileges. Specifically, it means that you can only drive a vehicle that has an ignition interlock device (IID) installed.

Typically, those convicted of a DWI in New York will have an ignition interlock restriction on their license for at least 12 months after their conviction. What will that mean for your life during that time?

Your driving activities are subject to vigorous state scrutiny

When you have an IID installed in your vehicle, you cannot start your car unless you take and pass a chemical breath test. You may also need to perform the test again while driving. Some of these devices even have cameras built in so that they can show if another person, like a minor child passenger, performs the test on behalf of the driver with the restricted license.

The standard limit for a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08%, but those with an IID face a much stricter limit of 0.025%. A BAC at or over that limit means you fail and cannot start the vehicle.

If you fail the test, the record of that failure will impact how the courts respond to your request to remove the restriction from your license in the future. If you get pulled over by a police officer with a restricted license while driving another vehicle without an IID installed, you can face loss of your license and additional penalties.

Installing an IID means incurring extra expenses

You have to pay for the device and for maintenance in calibration costs. You will probably have to pay more for insurance too. However, a restricted license allows you to get back on the road more quickly than you otherwise might after a DWI conviction.

Learning more about how New York penalizes drunk driving offenses can help drivers make better choices while at the wheel and when facing criminal charges.