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Ignition Interlock Devices May be Mandated for All Convicted Drunk Drivers in New York

Published February 16, 2012 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

A Monroe County college student is facing the harsh, legal consequences of drunk-driving accident. According to an article in the Democrat and Chronicle, the 21-year-old will begin spending her weekends in jail after pleading guilty last year to second degree vehicular manslaughter following a fatal car crash that killed her close friend. The judge sentenced the young woman to interim probation where she will spend weekends in jail until mid-May, when she will graduate.

The woman will begin serving the remainder of her six-month jail term in May. Until then, she is not allowed to drink alcohol or drive. Upon completion of her jail term, the young woman will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in her car as part of her sentence.

The Nazareth College student found out the hard way that New York has some of the stiffest DUI penalties in the U.S. While our Binghamton car accident attorneys are saddened by the outcome of this accident, we hope that it serves as a reminder to all New Yorkers to not drink and drive.

One of the ways New York, and other states, fights drunk driving is through the use of the ignition interlock device. The device requires a driver to blow into a tube to measure the blood-alcohol content. The vehicle cannot be started until the driver provides an acceptable sample breath.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), alcohol ignition interlock devices are 90 percent effective in preventing convicted drunk drivers from driving drunk again. Research also shows, however, that only one in eight convicted drunk drivers will actually receive an ignition interlock device in their vehicles.

Currently in New York, the ignition interlock law gives judges the ability to require those convicted of aggravated DUI to install the device. It also gives them the ability to require other DUI offenders to install the device.

If a House transportation bill passes though, ignition interlock devices may be installed in the vehicles of anyone convicted of a DUI or DWI. Under the federal provision, states will have $25 million of their yearly funding tied to enforcing a mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for first-time DUI offenders, regardless of their blood-alcohol content. The Huffington Post reports only 15 states now have laws requiring the implementation of the devices of first-time DUI offenders.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports alcohol-impaired drivers were involved in about 1 in 3 crash deaths, resulting in nearly 11,000 deaths in 2009. Even though the number of drunk driving accidents has decreased over the past few years, it continues to be a serious problem in the United States.

Our New York personal injury attorneys know what devastation a drunk driving accident can have on all parties involved – the victim and the accused drunk driver.  We support the use of the ignition interlock devices to prevent DUI offenders from putting others in danger. We also caution about the effects of drunk driving and ask that you stay alert for negligent and careless drivers with whom you share the road.

Contact Our Binghamton Injury Law Attorneys Today

Experience counts. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries in a New York accident due to a drugged driver, contact Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, to help. Our New York personal injury law office handles all types of accident, injury and medical malpractice cases.

As you work on recovering from your injuries, let our Binghamton, New York accident attorney’s office take care of the rest, including the paperwork, insurance documents and other legal issues related to your accident. Contact our personal injury attorney today! There is no charge for the consultation.

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