Ignition Interlock Laws in New York

Lifesafer Ignition Interlock New YorkNew York state laws require that all individuals convicted of misdemeanor and felony driving while intoxicated (DWI) be ordered to install and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) in any and all vehicles they own or operate. Sentencing in cases of DWI will include a requirement that offenders be monitored by the local probation department or, if the offender is placed on conditional discharge, the county ignition interlock program.

The IID is connected to the vehicle’s ignition system. Before starting the vehicle, the offender is required to submit a breath sample. If the device detects a breath alcohol content of 0.025 or higher, the vehicle will not start. While the offender is operating the vehicle, the device will require random re-tests, known as “rolling” re-tests. A breath alcohol content of 0.025 or higher during a rolling re-test is recorded by the device as a failed test. IIDs record the number of attempts to start the vehicle, the number of times that the vehicle was started, the alcohol content of the offender’s breath sample and the amount of time that the vehicle was operated by the offender.

IIDs must be obtained from a service provider that is certified by the State of New York. IIDs are classified by the Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives. The monitor determines the device classification that is required for the offender and the offender chooses the model within the specific classification. Device classifications include Class I, Class II, and Class III. All devices meet state and federal requirements for IIDs and have data reporting capabilities. Class II IIDs use biometric recognition. Class III IIDs utilize global positioning system, or GPS, to track the vehicle’s location; report data in real-time and restrict drive time capabilities.

IIDs must be installed and maintained on any and all vehicles owned or operator by the offender. The device must remain in the vehicle for the period of time determined by the court, for a minimum of six months. For aggravated DWI or in cases of repeat alcohol or drug offenses within five years, the device must remain installed for a period of time equivalent to the revocation period and any probation period.

State Seal of New YorkIf the offender is required to operate an employer-owned vehicle within the scope of employment, the offender must submit to the monitor proof that the employer has been notified of the IID requirement. The documentation must include the employer’s permission for the offender to operate the vehicle for business purposes without an IID. The offender may not operate employer-owned vehicles that are owned by a business that is wholly or partially owned by the offender. The owner of any vehicle that is rented, leased or loaned to the offender must be IID-equipped. The offender must obtain written permission from these individuals granting permission to have the device installed and for the offender to take the vehicle for routine service visits.

The device must be installed within ten days of the offender receiving the court order or, if the offender is imprisoned for the DWI offense, within ten days of being released from prison. The offender must submit to the service provider and monitor a photo identification or license, vehicle insurance information including company and policy number and the vehicle identification number for all vehicles in which IIDs are being installed. If the IID is being installed in a vehicle that is not owned by the offender, the offender must also submit a notarized affidavit from the vehicle’s owner authorizing the installation of the device. Within three days of having the device installed, the offender must submit proof of installation to the court and the county probation department or the county’s designated ignition interlock monitor.

Devices that do not transmit data automatically must be serviced every 30 days. Devices that transmit data automatically must be serviced 30 days after installation and then every 60 days. The service provider reports the results of the service visits to the monitor. Reports include failed or missed re-tests while the offender is attempting to start the vehicle, failed or missed rolling re-tests, device lock outs, missed service appointments and attempts by the offender to tamper with or circumvent the device. The monitor forwards the service provider reports to the court and district attorney with recommendations for further legal action. The monitor may recommend an extension to the IID requirement, alcohol or substance abuse treatment, a drinking driver program, suspension or revocation of driving privileges or revocation of the offender’s sentence or release.

The offender is responsible for any and all costs associated with the ignition interlock device including fees, lease payments and costs for routine calibration and service visits. The service provider will review the lease agreement and costs with the offender at the time of installation. The court may authorize a payment plan or waive all costs for offenders who can demonstrate that they are financially unable to pay the costs associated with the device.

Additional Resources

New York Ignition Interlock
Frequently Asked Questions About DWI and Leandra’s Law
New York You And The Drinking Driving Laws