The Cost of DWIs in New York

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

A DWI is a charge that can result in fines and jail time. There are, however, other costs behind a DWI that might not be apparent on the surface. One of these costs includes that of having a required ignition interlock device. This device is used to prevent further drinking and driving and is an installed directly into the vehicle of certain individuals convicted of a DWI.

Ignition Interlock Devices

According to local auto supply dealers, the total cost of an interlock device is typically around $560. This includes an $80 installation fee, $90 a month maintenance fee and a $40 removal fee. These fees can vary depending on the length of time the device must be installed for and the amount of times it must be fixed when it locks up.

The device is wired to the engine's ignition. To start the vehicle, the driver is required to blow air into a tube that senses alcohol. If the device picks up a blood-alcohol level that is higher than the limit the ignition becomes locked and the vehicle will not start. Having someone else blow into the tube is not a solution and can result in a misdemeanor.

Varying Costs by County

The cost of having and maintaining a device like this is not cheap and in certain situations, judges allow the costs to be waived. When this happens local auto shops are required to absorb the costs associated with the devices. Waivers are typically granted to those who cannot otherwise afford to pay for the device on their own after having filed a financial disclosure report that examines their monthly expenses.

The amount of waivers that are granted by judges varies greatly from county to county. Monroe County, for example has a rate that is double the rate of the state average. This means that more waivers that are brought before judges are granted to DWI offenders. A possible reason behind the variance is the idea that judges in the same area discuss and allow the waivers in similar circumstances.

Being Charged with a DWI

Having a DWI charge against an individual can be daunting. There is the possible jail time, the fine, and the interlock device charge. When an experienced DWI attorney is involved in the proceedings one can rest assured knowing that every avenue and detail will be examined and fought for. That individual has a presumed innocence and DWI attorneys work to protect that. They also ensure that, if convicted, the amount of time in jail and the costs paid are kept at a reasonable range. Speaking with a DWI attorney after a charge is brought forth is the first step towards guaranteeing a fair procedure.