The Rule: In New York State and in particular in Suffolk County, when anyone is convicted of any felony or misdemeanor drunk driving offense the Suffolk court will be required to impose - in addition to any fine, jail or prison sentence - a period of probation or conditional discharge. During that period, the individual will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device, for at least 12 months, in any motor vehicle they own or operate.
How does a Suffolk County interlock device work?
Before a vehicle's motor can be started, the driver must exhale into an ignition interlock device (IID) also known as a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID). If the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .025 percent or higher the engine will not start.
Couldn't the individual under supervision bypass the interlock simply by having someone else breath into the device to get it started and then drive away, or leave the car running while they are in a bar and drinking?
No. At random intervals after the engine has been started, the device will require additional breath samples. If a sample is not provided or if the blood alcohol concentration is .025 percent or higher, the device will record the event, warn the driver and then start an alarm (horn honking and/or a loud interior alarm) until either the ignition is turned off or a clean breath sample is provided. Additionally, some of the devices have built-in cameras and keep a photographic record of who provides the breath sample.
Who will install the Suffolk County Ignition Interlock device?
When someone is convicted of impaired driving and ordered to have an interlock installed, he or she will be referred by local Suffolk County ignition interlock monitors to manufacturers and their installation service providers designated by the state.
What do Suffolk County ignition interlock devices cost and who will pay for it?
The cost depends on the vendor and the level of ignition interlock service, but generally costs approximately $100 for installation, $100 for de-installation and a monthly fee of $100. In general, it is the responsibility of the convicted drunk driver to pay all the fees associated with installing and maintaining these devices.