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4 things you may not know about ignition interlock devices

Following a conviction for driving while intoxicated, you likely have a legal requirement to install an ignition interlock device on your car, truck or SUV. The device requires you to submit a breath sample both before starting the engine and periodically during your trip.

If any of your breath samples reveal a blood alcohol concentration above 0.025%, the ignition interlock device prevents the engine from starting or demands you stop driving. It also generates an official violation report. Here are four things you probably do not know about ignition interlock devices.

1. The device is not free

Installing an ignition interlock device is one of the costlier penalties of a DWI conviction. These devices typically cost as much as $150 to install. You must also pay a monthly fee of between $75 and $225 for as long as you have the device in your vehicle.

2. You may have to install more than one

If you have a DWI conviction, New York law likely requires you to install ignition device on every vehicle you drive with maybe the exception of your work vehicle.

3. You may have the device for a long time

At a minimum, you can expect to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for 12 months, although your obligation may be longer. If you have no BAC violations, though, you may be able to convince a court to shorten this time.

4. Other drivers must provide a breath sample

If someone else drives your vehicle, he or she must breathe into the ignition interlock device. Accordingly, you must be selective about who drives your car. After all, if a friend, auto mechanic or anyone else has an unacceptably high BAC, the court may attribute the violation to you.