New York State may be the 11th State in the United States to make ignition interlock devices mandatory vehicles owned by people convicted of drinking and driving (DWI) even if it is their first conviction. The device can detect alcohol in a driver’s breath and prevents the car from starting if alcohol is detected. The proposal made by two Long Island legislators, Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg is already gaining steam in Albany where it has already passed the Senate Transportation Committee. The ignition interlock legislation has passed the Senate before but has not gotten through the New York State Assembly.
While the legislation is popular, its effectiveness is questionable since it only works on the offender’s car and he could obviously drive any car including a rental, a friend’s car or a family member’s car. In addition, anybody could blow into the device thus permitting the intoxicated driver to operate the car.
As experience New York DWI attorneys know, this legislation will add another collateral consequence to a long list of consequences of New York DWI convictions. This list already includes: offenders having a criminal conviction, fines, surcharges, insurance consequences, Driver Responsibility Assessment and license revocation in addition to possibility of jail, probation, conditional discharge, mandatory attendance at a victim impact panel and revocation of offender’s registration.