Monday, October 28, 2013

Amendments to New York’s DWI Ignition Interlock Law take effect November 1

Ovid, NY--Attorney Steven Getman is reminding New York motorists that the ignition interlock provisions enacted as part of Leandra's Law have been amended and will apply to offenses committed on or after Nov. 1, 2013. Changes include:
• Vehicle and Traffic Law (“VTL”) 511(3)(a)(iv) was amended to create a new category of first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle where a person operates a motor vehicle while holding a conditional license issued pursuant to VTL 1196(7)(a) while under the influence of alcohol or a drug.

• VTL 1193(1)(b), (c)

◦ was amended to apply the ignition interlock requirement to youthful offenders; ◦ extended the minimum ignition interlock period to one year, but allows the court to terminate the period earlier if the person submits proof that an ignition interlock was installed and maintained for at least six months;
◦ now provides that the interlock period starts from the earlier of the date of sentencing or the date a device was installed in advance of sentencing.
• VTL 1198(4)(a)
◦ now provides that good cause for failure to install an ignition interlock device may include a finding that the defendant does not own a motor vehicle if the defendant states under oath that he/she does not own a motor vehicle and that he/she will not operate a motor vehicle during the ignition interlock period;
◦ was amended to state that the term "owner" has the same meaning as in VTL 128 (title holder).
Leandra's Law, enacted in 2009, established a new Class E felony related to driving while intoxicated with a child as a passenger; and, for the first time, required that all individuals convicted of misdemeanor and felony DWI offenses install and maintain ignition interlock devices.

Driving while intoxicated in New York carries serious penalties, both civil and criminal. Not only can a defendant lose his or her license to drive, once they can drive again, the interlock law may apply. In addition, anyone convicted of DWI will be subject to New York State fines, surcharges, insurance penalties and, in some cases, imprisonment in a New York State correctional facility.

For more information, click here.