Common Questions about NYS Ignition Interlock Devices

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NYS law states that every DWI conviction must result in an Ignition Interlock Device being installed in any vehicle that the defendant owns or operates. The only exception is when a defendant has to drive a work vehicle for his or her employment. This page answers a few of the most common questions I hear regarding the Ignition Interlock Device.

Which vehicles are subject to an Ignition Interlock Device?

If you are convicted of misdemeanor or felony DWI, and if you have a vehicle that is titled in your name, registered in your name, or insured in your name, that vehicle needs to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed. If you take the car off the road by turning in the plates, you still need to get an Ignition Interlock Device installed if the vehicle is titled to you or insured by you. IID's cannot be installed on motorcycles, and you will have to get any motorcycle out of your name completely. You do not need an IID on a boat.

Where can I get an Ignition Interlock Device?

There are at least four service providers for Ignition Interlock Devices. My listing them here is not, by any means, an endorsement. In my opinion, they are all bad indifferent ways. Make sure they have worked with Monroe County Probation and know the requirements for New York State. Monroe County Probation requires that you install a Class III Ignition Interlock Device, which has a camera. If you are on probation you will need a Class III device equipped with both a GPS locator and real-time data feed.

In no particular order:

  • LifeSafer (855) 527-1597
  • Smart Start (800) 831-3299
  • Draeger (800) 332-6858
  • Guardian Interlock (800) 499-0994
  • There is one other well-known IID company that I have purposefully taken off this list because they have caused my clients so many problems.

Do I have to get an Ignition Interlock in my car if my spouse was ordered to install one?

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Not necessarily. If your car is not titled to your spouse, and if you do not allow him/her to drive the car, then you do not have to have an IID installed. Many judges will tell spouses that they need to give the court a signed affidavit stating that they will not allow their spouse to drive their vehicle. A court does not have jurisdiction over the spouse of a defendant, nor do they have the authority to sanction a spouse because of a defendant’s conviction.

If you have a vehicle that is titled jointly with a spouse who is about to be convicted of DWI, transfer the car out of their name, and do not allow them to drive it. It will save you $100+ per month in IID fees, as well as the inconvenience of having to blow into an IID device on a regular basis.

What is an Affidavit of Household Driver?

Because some courts and probation departments don't recognize the obvious jurisdictional problem with ordering the spouse (or roommate, or child) of a defendant to install an IID in their vehicle, we may need to draft an Affidavit of Household Driver for your spouse/child/parent/ roommate before you are sentenced. That affidavit says that they own a car, they live with you, and they will not let you drive the car. That usually satisfies the court. In order to draft the needed affidavits, you need to provide us with all the information for any vehicle kept at your house. We give you a vehicle information form at our first meeting, and you can also download it here: DWI Intake - vehicle info

How much does an Ignition Interlock Device cost?

IID’s cost up to $200.00 to install and between $25.00 and $125.00 per month to maintain. Monroe County Probation requires that you install a Class III IID, which has a camera in the device. If you are on probation you will need a Class III device equipped with both a GPS locator and real-time data feed.

Can somebody else drive my car when there is an Ignition Interlock Device installed?

Yes, but they still have to blow and follow all the IID rules. The IID does not turn off when someone other than you tries to operate your car, so make certain that the person driving your car understands that if they fail to blow as directed, or if they blow into the IID with any alcohol on their breath, the car will go into a lock-out mode.

Can I have my car worked on at a garage when there is an Ignition Interlock Device installed?

Yes, but many mechanics won’t blow into the IID. Please talk to the shop about the IID, and ask ahead of time if they will blow as directed. If they fail to blow, or if one of the mechanics has alcohol on his or her breath, the IID will register a violation, and you will have to deal with it – either with the service provider or in court. Taking preventative measures to make sure you don’t get violated will safe you a lot of grief in the long run.

Can I have the Ignition Interlock Device removed early?

The minimum period for an IID installation is 12 months. After six months you can make a motion to have the period reduced, and many judges will grant that motion if you haven’t had any reported violations. Click here to learn more.

The Ignition Interlock Device is one of the costliest and most inconvenient sanctions associated with a DWI conviction. If you want to avoid an Ignition Interlock Device being installed on your car, you need to hire an attorney who can help you avoid a DWI conviction.

If you are charged with drunk driving, contact us at The Militello Law Firm for a free telephone consultation and case evaluation. (585) 485-0025

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Militello Law Firm, PLLC
2480 Browncroft Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14625

Phone: (585) 485-0025
Fax: (585) 286-3128