DWI Ignition Interlock Devices in New York

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

From August 2010 to September 2011 almost 6,000 convicted drunk drivers were required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. These devices are intended to keep driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenders from driving while drunk in the future.

Details of New York Law

The state of New York requires first-time DWI offenders to install an ignition interlock device within their car. The device monitors the number of times the offender's vehicle was started and the operator's blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time.

The devices also conduct a rolling retest within five to fifteen minutes of ignition and some units also have cameras installed for additional monitoring.

Cost of Ignition Interlock Device

The offender is expected to cover the majority of costs, including an installation fee ranging from free in some counties to $100 in others and a recurring monthly fee spanning from $70 to $110.

Each county covers the costs incurred from monitoring offenders, but is reimbursed by the state. The state Division of Criminal Justice Services awarded $3 million to fund reimbursement.

Effectiveness of Ignition Interlock Systems

Advocates of the device point to research released by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety to justify the device's installation. The research found a decrease in recidivism of convicted DWI offenders and concludes by calling for installation of the device in the vehicles of all offenders.

But opponents voice concerns the new law may be a Trojan horse, ultimately pushing for inclusion in every car sold in the U.S. The device is sensitive, and may not allow a vehicle to start after consuming a glass of wine at dinner or a beer at a sporting event.

The penalties associated with DWI charges are harsh. As a result, if charged with a DWI it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced DWI defense attorney.