Massachusetts residents and license holders who drive in the State of New York should be aware of a new drunk driving law which takes effect on August 15th in New York. Under the new DUI law, those convicted of even a first offense DUI will be required to use the breath alcohol ignition interlock device, for a minimum period of six months. As is the case with the Massachusetts Interlock Program, anyone who drives the car, including family members, will have to provide a breath sample for the vehicle to start. Drivers also have to take and pass rolling re-tests while an interlock-equipped car is being driven. The interlock program in New York is overseen by state probation officials unlike the Massachusetts program which is administered by the interlock unit of the Mass. RMV.
The passage of this law in New York could be a preview of coming attractions for those arrested for a first offense OUI in Massachusetts. Senate Bill 1925, which is sponsored by Senator Robert Hedlund, would require Mass. first offenders to use the ignition interlock device for a minimum of six months. This bill has received strong support and it is likely to pass.