Legislation requiring all convicted drunken drivers to blow into a device to test for alcohol when getting behind the wheel was adopted Friday by the New York State Senate.
The new bill would require people convicted of driving under the influence to install and pay for ignition interlock devices in their vehicles.
Similar laws already are on the books in 11 states, including Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico and Washington.
New York currently only requires ignition interlocks for people convicted of aggravated DWI, which is having a blood-alcohol content of 0.18 or higher. This new law would require the ignition interlock device for anyone convicted of DWI, whether aggravated or not.
The new law is designed to enhance public safety and save lives by preventing convicted DWI offenders from starting their vehicles if they are under the influence of alcohol.
Massachusetts has had a mandatory ignition interlock law for the past 3 years. The law in Massachusetts applies only to offenders with 2 or more DWI or related convictions on their records. It mandates the use of the interlock device for a 2 year period after the DUI offender gets a full license and for the full term of any DUI hardship license. Ignition Interlock Violation penalties in Massachusetts include a 10 year or lifetime license revocation. The Mass. RMV enforces the interlock law with a zero-tolerance approach.
There are also new interlock laws proposed in California, New Mexico and Iowa.