New York Signs Bill into Law Strengthening Ignition Interlock Devices
Some people may have wondered what a friend or family member is doing when he or she blows into a small device attached to the dashboard of his or her car. This step before starting up the car is required when the driver has been convicted of DWI charges. Ignition interlock devices prevent the car from starting if the driver has a certain blood alcohol percentage, in theory keeping drunk drivers from driving on public roads. In New York State, ignition interlock provisions in DWI laws got a boost this week after Governor Cuomo signed a new bill into law.
According to the North Country Gazette, the new law signed by Governor Cuomo this week strengthens the provisions of a 2009 law. That law is called Leandra’s Law, after a young girl who was riding as a passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver when she died in a car accident. The law specifically established penalties and consequences for drivers driving drunk with children in their vehicles. One of those penalties and consequences was the requirement for drivers convicted under Leandra’s Law to install ignition interlock devices on cars and other vehicles both owned and operated by that driver.
The legislation signed into law this week by Governor Cuomo strengthens ignition interlock device requirements. MPNnow reports that the new law will limit the number of circumstances in which courts can waive ignition interlock device requirements. For example, under the law, to waive ignition interlock installation, a driver must swear under oath that he or she does not own or operate a vehicle, and that he or she will not operate a vehicle during the pendency of the ignition interlock requirement. Of course, the consequence of providing false testimony would constitute the crime of perjury.
In addition to these provisions, the new law expands the requirement of ignition interlock device installation to youthful offenders. Such offenders may be charged under New York’s Zero Tolerance Law, which establishes blood alcohol levels for legal intoxication for drivers under 21-years-old. The Zero Tolerance Law sets out its own penalties and consequences. Apparently, however, New York DWI law was unclear as to whether youthful offenders were required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles after a conviction. Under the new law, this ambiguity is cleared up. In addition to addressing ignition interlock devices, it is important to note that the new law also includes provisions regarding drunk driving on conditional licenses.
New York DWI Law is constantly changing, and is often complex to understand. If you have been charged with violating DWI laws, you should immediately seek out the assistance of an experienced attorney.
This article is brought to you by Anelli Xavier DWI Defense, a Syracuse NY DWI Attorney.