You probably know about the typical consequences of an impaired driving conviction: a license suspension, a fine, even possible jail time. But what you might not know is that anyone convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New York state must install an ignition interlock device (IID) in any vehicle they drive during their sentence.

How does an IID work?

An IID is a device that tests for the presence of alcohol on your breath before you’re able to start your car and again while you’re driving.

If it measures your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as above .025, the car will not start. Conversely, it asks for a breath samples again at random intervals while driving. If you do not provide a sample or if your BAC is above the limit, the IID will record it and an alarm or your vehicle’s horn will sound until you turn the car off.

Some IIDs are equipped with a camera to make sure that if you’re driving you’re actually the person providing the breath sample

IID installation

Whether you receive a misdemeanor or a felony DWI, it’s likely you will need to have an IID for at least six months. You must have the IID installed by a state-approved vendor within 10 days of your sentencing. The amount of time you have the IID starts counting down when you get it installed.

When sentenced to having an IID, your license will carry an IID restriction. It will say ignition interlock” on the back of your driver’s license and you may face punishment if you’re pulled over and do not have an IID installed.”

When your IID sentence is up, you will receive a form to bring to the DMV to have the restriction removed from your license.

Seek counsel

A DWI is a serious crime in New York. The punishments can be costly – financially, professionally and socially. If arrested for an impaired driving charge, you may consider seeking an attorney who can advise you on your best options going forward.