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Ignition Interlock Devices

Last updated on: May 16, 2023

By Lebedin Kofman LLP

Under New York State law, no person shall knowingly rent, lease, or lend a motor vehicle to a person known to have had his or her driving privilege restricted to vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device unless the vehicle is so equipped. A person knowingly rents, leases, or lends a motor vehicle which is not equipped with an ignition interlock device when that person is aware that he or she is doing so. If convicted, this crime will result in a Class A misdemeanor. A motor vehicle as defined by this statute means every vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power.

To be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt two elements: (1) That on the date alleged, the defendant knowingly rented, leased, or lent a motor vehicle which was not equipped with an ignition interlock device to another person; and (2) the defendant knew that the other person’s driving privileges were restricted to a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.
To navigate the complexities of DWI laws in New York, and avoid severe consequences, it’s crucial to have a skilled New York DWI lawyer on your side. At Lebedin Kofman LLP, our team of New York DWI attorneys may be able to help you understand the prosecution’s burden of proof and the two key elements they must establish beyond a reasonable doubt. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

Circumvention of an Interlock Device 1198(9)(a)

Under New York State law, a person who is required by law to use an ignition interlock device to operate a motor vehicle shall not request, solicit, or allow any other person to blow into an ignition interlock device or to start a motor vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of providing the restricted person with an operable motor vehicle. If convicted, this crime will result in a Class A misdemeanor. A motor vehicle as defined by this statute means every vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power.

To be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt three elements: (1) That on the date alleged, the defendant’s driving privilege was restricted by law to operating a motor vehicle with an ignition interlock device; (2) that on the date alleged, the defendant requested, solicited, or allowed another person to blow into an ignition interlock device, or to start a motor vehicle equipped with the device; and (3) that the defendant did so for the purpose of providing himself or herself with an operable motor vehicle.

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Circumvention of an Interlock Device 1198(9)(b)

Under New York State law, no person shall blow into an ignition interlock device or start a motor vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of providing an operable motor vehicle to a person whose driving privilege is restricted by law to operating a motor vehicle with an ignition interlock device. If convicted, this crime will result in a Class A misdemeanor. A motor vehicle as defined by this statute means every vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power.

To be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt two elements: (1) That on the date alleged, the defendant blew into an ignition interlock device or started a motor vehicle equipped with the device; and (2) the defendant did so for the purpose of providing himself or herself with an operable motor vehicle.

Circumvention of an Interlock Device 1198(9)(c)

Under New York State law, no person shall tamper with or circumvent an otherwise operable ignition interlock device. If convicted, this crime will result in a Class A misdemeanor. To be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on the date alleged, the defendant tampered with or circumvented an otherwise operable ignition interlock device.

Circumvention of an Interlock Device 1198(9)(d)

Under New York State law, no person subject to a court-ordered ignition interlock device shall operate a motor vehicle without such device. A person is subject to a court-ordered ignition interlock device when he or she is required or otherwise ordered by a court as a condition of probation or conditional discharge to install and operate an ignition interlock device in any vehicle which he or she owns or operates. If convicted, this crime will result in a Class A misdemeanor.

A motor vehicle, as defined by this statute, means every vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power. A person operates a motor vehicle by driving it or when he or she is sitting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle for the purpose of placing the vehicle in motion. A person may be considered to be operating a vehicle even if the vehicle is not moving but the engine is running.

To be convicted of this crime, the prosecution must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt two elements: (1) That on the date alleged, the defendant operated a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device; and (2) that the defendant did so while he or she was subject to a court-ordered ignition interlock device.

To speak with one of our knowledgeable DWI attorneys about your charges and ignition interlock device, call (646) 663-4430 or contact us online and schedule your free consultation.

Circumvention Offense New York State Law
1198(9)(a) Restricted person requests/solicits/start the interlock device
Operable motor vehicle provided to restricted person
1198(9)(b) No person blows into interlock device or starts equipped vehicle
Operable motor vehicle provided to restricted person
1198(9)(c) Tampering with or circumventing interlock device
1198(9)(d) Operating a vehicle without interlock device
Violating court-ordered requirement

New York DWIs Minimum Term for Ignition Interlock Devices

New Yorkers who are convicted in New York of misdemeanors and felony DWIs will typically be required to install ignition interlocks in their cars for a 12-month period. This requirement applies to several types of drunk driving convictions, including:

  • First-time DWIs. A simple DWI with at least 0.08 BAC can result in IIDs being required, regardless of whether the case ends in a plea bargain, guilty plea, or conviction by a jury.
  • Aggravated DWIs. These are cases where the driver had a 0.18 BAC or more, there were children in the car with the drunk driver, a DWI involved in a collision, and/or other aggravating factors.

Motorists that are required to have and maintain ignition interlock systems on their cars will also be given an “ignition interlock” designation on their driver’s licenses.

How Many Interlock Violations Can You Have

In New York, individuals convicted of certain DUI/DWI offenses may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicles. This device necessitates a breath test before starting the car and at random intervals while driving. Failing to provide a breath sample is deemed a violation. Typical violations encompass:

  • driving without an IID, 
  • tampering with the device, 
  • trying to bypass or remove it, failing a startup or rolling retest, 
  • skipping a rolling retest, 
  • driving after failing a rolling retest,
  •  not reporting a lockout, 
  • missing a monthly service appointment, and 
  • failing to pay monthly maintenance fees.

The repercussions for IID violations in New York can range from being unable to start your car until your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below .08, triggering your horn and flashing lights while driving, vehicle impoundment, permanent lockout necessitating a tow to a service center, extending the IID installation period, revoking your restricted license or driving privileges, imposing fines, incarceration, and more. You are responsible for any program violations that transpire in your IID-installed vehicle, irrespective of whether someone else was driving.
If you do not pass an IID test, there are several common factors that may lead to errors in the results. These factors can include alcohol-based mouthwash, the fermentation of fruit products in your mouth, yeast from bread or pizza dough, or residual alcohol in your system from the previous night’s consumption. If you think the test result was inaccurate and you did not breach any program rules, you are generally permitted to retake the test after waiting a few minutes.

Leandra’s Law

Leandra’s law was adopted in November 2009. It is one of the New York statutes requiring IIDs for DWIs. Leandra, an eleven-year-old girl, was killed in a DWI crash when a friend’s mother was driving drunk. It led to many updates to New York Vehicle and Traffic Laws. The state now requires ignition interlock devices in all DWI cases.

To learn more about ignition interlock devices and how our DWI lawyers can help you, contact us at (646) 663-4430 and schedule a free consultation.

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