Friday, October 8, 2010

Ithaca Lawyer Understanding New York DWI Ignition Interlock Devices

Well the IIDs or the ignition interlock devices are here for all first time DWI convictions. Tompkins County is considered District/Region number 2. In little Ithaca, NY there is a monitoring station for the devices set up at one of the auto places on Route 13, also known as Meadow. The company Smartstart is also offering a FREE install (normally a $100 or more) to promote their business.

The law (signed Nov. 2009) began to implemented in August of 2010. It is said that the "Road to hell is paved with good intentions" and ... the idea behind this law has the best of intentions but the actual implementation and practicality of it was not thought out entirely.

It has been a source of both confusion for the Courts and grief to many. The legislature passed the mandatory devices into law but I feel they failed to see the bigger picture. Whereas in the past the devices were sentenced for individuals placed on probation (supervision) and/or for aggravated (high BAC) DWIs and/or for those with diagnosed alcoholism now we have the devices being used on everyone without any Judicial Discretion (a Judge's Decision). They are mandatory for at least 6 months on all DWIs and ADWIs.

In addition, under the new law they must be monitored, re-checked, and information downloaded directly (physically) from the devices every 30 days. In these days where we can talk to people half way around the world in a split second, pay bills without paper, and download books from satellites from the privacy of our bedrooms you would think that the whole having to physically visit with a download site would be old school, as in inefficient and expensive. The monthly charge is around $85...

There are more issues, I call them collateral issues:

Can someone afford the car insurance after a DWI on an IID vehicle?
A father of a young client had his insurance company drop him, and now coverage on the son is being quoted at $1,000 a month, now that's an expensive ride.

If you own or operate more than one car, all the cars require them and require monitoring?
What about if you share the car with someone? Do they also blow into the device?

So we shall see what the future holds?