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Ignition interlock devices in New York

The state of New York has an ignition interlock device requirement for people who are convicted of driving while intoxicated. While attached to a vehicle's ignition system, an ignition interlock device provides an interface that can measure the driver's blood alcohol content. A car that is fitted with an ignition interlock device will only start if the driver can provide a breath sample that proves that there has not been any alcohol consumed.

After convicting a driver for DWI or aggravated DWI, a court will sentence the driver to a period of probation or conditional discharge. Part of that sentence is a requirement that the driver install ignition interlock devices on all of the vehicles that they own or use. Unless the court decides otherwise, the ignition interlock device requirement will remain in effect for at least 12 months.

When people are convicted for DWI, their driver's license record will be altered to include the interlock device requirement. The physical driver's license will have a note of the restriction written on the back of the card. It is a driver's responsibility to go to an ignition interlock vendor to have the device installed. Drivers will be required to bring the device in for maintenance as well.

After the driver's probation period or conditional release ends, the driver may have the ignition interlock device removed and apply for a new driver's license without a restriction. Installing an ignition interlock device is often a condition of a plea deal that an attorney for a defendant who is facing drunk driving charges might negotiate with a prosecutor, and motorists could face further penalties if they do not use the device correctly.

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