It seems New York state is having some trouble with the Ignition Interlock Device. The Child Passenger Protection Act or more commonly known in New York as Leandra’s Law, was originally created to restrict individuals charged with drunken driving from getting behind the wheel for a certain period of time and the ignition interlock device is a big part of the law. Unfortunately, it seems DWI offenders are finding laws around the interlock device.
The ignition interlock device is a machine, connected to a car’s electrical system, which tests the driver’s blood alcohol concentration. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the vehicle will not start. The interlock ignition device aims to keep people from operating motor vehicles while drunk, and has worked very well for the most part. Unfortunately, it seems the device has been unable to keep the worst offenders from operating their vehicles.
In a recent news report, a reporter showed how some convicted drivers found a way around the ignition interlock law. Some drivers tricked the ignition device by asking a friend to blow into it in order to start the car, while other drivers simply failed to install the device as ordered by court.
Putting a close to this loophole is not impossible, although it may be difficult. Offenders who do not install the interlock device are supposed to instead wear an ankle bracelet, or another form of transdermal, alcoholic monitoring device. The governor has also recently asked the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to reinforce the rules on repeat drunken drivers. The Democratic-controlled Assembly, however, has not yet taken up the bill.
Reports show that approximately 23,000 individuals around Buffalo, NY have not installed an interlock device, despite a court order to do so. Convicted drivers would rather take their vehicles off the road rather than pay hundreds of dollars for the device, (still excluding monthly fees).
The project coordinator for the STOP DWI program of Erie County states that there wouldn’t be a problem if people didn’t drive at all. Offenders who continue to drive are simply breaking the law. For individuals unable to control their drinking habits, succeeding arrests are just the tip of the iceberg.
Conscientious citizens who are aware of an existing drinking problem should get an interlock device for themselves. Without court-ordered monitoring each month, individuals would only have to pay for the installation fee. In fact, some parents install the interlock device on the cars of their teenagers.
Although the ignition interlock device is a flawed deterrent, it should not stop Legislatures from practicing stricter and stronger measures in an effort to keep drunken drivers from getting behind the wheel.
Here in Minnesota, both first and second-time DWI offenders are granted full driving privileges upon installation of an ignition interlock device.
Charged with DWI?
If you are charged with DWI in Minnesota, call the Kans Law Firm, LLC at (952) 835-6314 for a free consultation and case evaluation.