NY DWI Law Controversy About Cost of Monitoring

New DWI laws and penalties set to go into effect on 8/15 are causing some concerns for local counties about the costs of implementing the new restrictions. Under the law, NY Counties such as Genesee County take on new administrative and monitoring responsibilities for DWI offenders with new ignition interlock devices installed in their cars, and the source of the funding is not clear.

According to the Daily News, Genesee county estimates it will be responsible for tracking, administering, and monitoring up t0 500 individuals per year with interlock restrictions on their cars from a DWI conviction. No doubt this potentially unfunded requirement will be an issue in counties across the state, which is why many county managers are hoping the strict mandate for all DWI 1st offenders can be rolled back, and the interlock requirement can be issued at a judges discretion, presumably only in cases where a judge feels it is an important public safety issue.

An ignition interlock device is essentially a rolling breathalyzer. It is installed in a persons car, and they must provide a clean breath sample for the vehicle to start. All sample attempts and failures are logged and monitored. Failing an IID test can result in serious criminal penalties.

The IID requirement is one of the elements of Leandra’s Law, which was primarily about tougher penalties for drunk driving with children in the car.

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