Ignition Interlock Devices And The Crime Of Circumventing Them

June 21, 2024


A drunk driving conviction can continue to affect your life long after you have sobered up. For example, if you are convicted of a DWI (driving while intoxicated) in New York the court can order you to install and operate an ignition interlock device on any car that you own or operate. An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breathalyzer installed in a vehicle that only allows the car to turn on if someone with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) below the programmed limit blows into the device.

It is important to note that tampering with or otherwise circumventing a court ordered IID is illegal and can result in a hefty fine and/or jail time. According to the NY Daily News, a man in Brooklyn recently violated this law when he choose to drive without an IID despite the fact that a court had ordered him to have one as a condition of his discharge from a drunk driving arrest. The man hit a pedestrian while driving in Brooklyn and, even though he was not intoxicated at the time, he was charged with circumventing an ignition interlock device.

The Crime Of Circumventing An Ignition Interlock Device

Under New York code VTL 1198, circumventing an interlock device is a Class A misdemeanor that can be committed in any of the following ways:

  • Requesting, soliciting, or allowing any other person to blow into your ignition interlock device, or starting a vehicle equipped with the device, in order to allow the restricted person to drive the vehicle,
  • Blowing into an ignition interlock device, or starting a car with such a device, so that a restricted person can drive the vehicle,
  • Tampering with or otherwise circumventing an ignition interlock device, or
  • Operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device if you are required by a court order to use one.

In New York, a Class A misdemeanor such as circumventing an ignition interlock device is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.

If A Court Order Requires Me To Use An IID, Can I Borrow A Friend’s Car?

If a court has ordered you to use an IID then you may not drive a friend’s car, unless that car is equipped with an ignition interlock device. This requirement applies to any motor vehicle including vehicles that are leased, rented, or loaned. However, there is an exception for qualifying employees who are required to operate their employer’s motor vehicle in the course of their work. If you have any questions about the terms of a court ordered restriction on your driving privileges contact a local DWI attorney.

How Can We Help?

Charged with a DWI in New York? Contact our team today to learn your options. We’re available 24/7; (518) 675-3094.

DISCLAIMER: The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave Law Firm are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.

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