The New York Ignition Interlock Device Law, known as “Leandra’s Law,” became effective on August 15, 2010. This followed the interlock requirements of Melanie’s Law in Massachusetts, which became effective on January 1, 2006. Leandra’s Law, like Melanie’s Law, was enacted to enhance public safety by increasing the penalties for drunk driving.
The NY IID Law requires anyone convicted of misdemeanor or felony DWI offenses under New York VTL §1192(2), (2-a) or (3), install and maintain an approved ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle which the DUI offender owns or drives. In Massachusetts, the Registry of Motor Vehicles administers the IID program. In New York, the probation department oversees the program. This means that New York Judges must sentence DUI defendants to a probation term or to a conditional discharge in addition to any period of incarceration, and must include the condition that DWI offenders install and use the ignition interlock devices, as a condition of probation or conditional discharge. The probation & Interlock requirement is imposed regardless of whether any jail sentence or period of incarceration is imposed. The total of the IID for a 6 month period will be approximately $500 to $800.
Under New York Law, a first offender must use the ignition interlock device for at least 180 days. If the DUI offender was previously convicted of DUI within a 5 year look back period, he or she will be required to use the IID for the entire period of his or her license revocation, which may be up to 18 months.
A New York DWI defendant must install the IID within 10 business days after the interlock restriction is imposed, and he or she must submit proof of compliance within 3 business days of Installation. Massachusetts residents convicted in a DUI New York are subject to the IID provisions of Leandra’s Law and the New York court system will cooperate with a qualified manufacturer to allow for regular reporting from a Massachusetts IID service provider to the monitoring agency in New York.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles requires mandatory use of the ignition interlock device during the entire term of any hardship license, and for 2 years thereafter, for repeat DUI offenders. Unlike New York, the Mass. RMV does not currently require the IID for first time DUI offenders.
Pursuant to VTL § 1198(9)(d), it is a class A misdemeanor in New York for any defendant to operate a motor vehicle in violation of an interlock restriction. Driving without the IID in Massachusetts will trigger an automatic 10 year license revocation.