New York DWI –Ignition Interlock Device–Part 2

In Part 1 or this article, we discussed the circumstances of when a motorist is required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle, how the IID works, how long the IID must remain in the vehicle and the crimes that require the installation of an ignition interlock device. We begin part 2 with the question: What if the motorist is not able to afford the installation or maintenance fees associated with an IID?

If the driver can demonstrate through the Court mandated “Financial Disclosure Report” that he or she does not have sufficient resources to pay for the IID installation and maintenance, the Court may either order a payment plan or waive the fee entirely. This form is extensive, and covers all sources of income, including bank accounts, property, rent, mortgage payments, and family members who might be able to assist in payment of the fees. Only if the Court is satisfied that the motorist has no means of payment will the fees be waived.

If the motorist does not own a motor vehicle as of the time of sentencing, proof must be given to the Court to this effect, from sources such as the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles and an insurance company if the vehicle was recently taken off of the road. If the motorist obtains a motor vehicle during the time of the DWI sentence, that vehicle must be equipped with a IID.

Once the driver has passed the start up test with the IID, the device will require “rolling tests” at regular intervals of approximately 15 minutes to 30 minutes. If the driver fails the start up test, he or she must re-take the test in 5-15 minutes. Additionally, once the start up test has been passed, rolling tests are required approximately every 15 to 30 minutes. Rolling tests are required while the driver is operating the vehicle. If the driver fails the rolling test, a rolling re-test will be required in 1-3 minutes. If a number of tests are failed, the car will go into “lockout mode” and then it will not be possible to start the vehicle unless it is brought back to the facility where the IID was installed.

If the driver fails a start up test or rolling test, this information will be provided to the sentencing Court, District Attorney’s Office, Department of Probation, and any treatment provider. This can result in a violation in the person’s sentence of a conditional discharge or probation, and can lead to re-sentencing on the original charge.

Additionally, if the driver tampers with the IID, fails to use the device, or attempts to have someone else blow into the device, this can lead to additional criminal charges against the driver, as well as any person charged with assisting in the tampering.

There are exceptions for use of the IID if the driver is operating a vehicle at work, as long as it is proven that the employer knows about the sentence and consents to allow the employee to operate vehicles without the device installed. However, if the person is self employed, they must only operate vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock.

After the sentence is completed, the driver can apply to the Court and Department of Probation to have the device removed at a Court approved facility.

If you are charged with a DWI, Aggravated DWI, felony DWI, or another crime, contact the Westchester County DWI Attorneys online or toll free at (914) 428-7386 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case in detail, your rights, and legal options.