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*excluding traffic tickets*

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What drivers should know about ignition interlock devices

Ignition interlock devices have pros and cons. They allow drivers with convictions of impaired driving to keep their licenses and continue driving for necessary reasons. However, they are also inconvenient and cost a lot of money.

According to the New York State Unified Court System, when a driver’s sentence involves an IID, the state places a special interlock device restriction on his or her driver’s license. This restriction remains until the sentence is over.

Which drivers need to install ignition interlock devices?

According to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, any driver convicted of and sentenced for driving while intoxicated needs to install an IID on any vehicle that he or she operates, regardless of whether the driver is also the owner. This is a provision of Leandra’s Law, which passed in 2009.

How long does the requirement last?

Generally speaking, the IID must remain on the vehicle or vehicles for at least 12 months. However, the law allows the court to give permission for a shorter sentence. Failed tests may mean a longer sentence.

How much does an IID cost?

In addition to the initial cost to install the IID, and ultimately to remove it, there is a monthly fee for having the IID installed. It is possible for drivers who cannot afford these expenses to fill out and submit a Financial Disclosure Form to the court to ask to have the fees waived. The court may do so for drivers who can demonstrate real financial hardship.

How does a driver have the restriction removed?

Once the IID time runs out, the driver must apply for a new driver’s license without the restriction. This involves submitting forms from the ignition interlock monitor to the DMV.

It is preferable for most drivers to avoid conviction and sentencing on drunk driving charges to avoid the IID requirement altogether.