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Two New Yorkers Accused of Subverting Interlock Law

New York state police recently charged two men with switching cars in an attempt to circumvent a court order in a drunk driving case. The order in question required one of the men, who had previously been convicted of DWI, to have an ignition interlock device on the car.

The men were caught after they went to an ignition interlock office for a in response to a court order requiring a calibration of the interlock device. After the office workers found no device in the car, they alerted the police, who arrested the convicted DWI offender, once his breath tested positive for alcohol on a screening device.

Officers discovered that the two men had switched vehicles because the DWI offender had consumed alcohol earlier in the day and could not drive his vehicle due to the ignition interlock device.

Ignition Interlock Devices in New York

An ignition interlock device functions like a mini-Breathalyzer connected to the car's ignition system. Drivers must blow into the device and prove they are sober before the car will start. In addition, drivers must submit to "rolling retests" during the course of the journey, in order to deter drunk drivers from having a sober passenger blow into the device at the start of the trip. Some devices are equipped with cameras that photograph the driver.

If a driver fails a retest, the horn will beep and the device emits an increasingly loud noise. The devices are also designed to resist tampering and to record any attempts to "hot-wire" the system.

New York is one of several states which require that ignition interlock devices be installed after the first offense of felony or misdemeanor drunk driving. The devices need to be installed during the period that the license is revoked or for a minimum of six months.

Source: "2 accused of switching cars to subvert interlock device,", 4/4/12

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