Leandra's Law Update

March 5, 2012, by Law Offices of James F. Hughes

New York State's Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL 1193-1(b)) requires that everyone convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) either as a misdemeanor or felony under Section 1192(2) (2a) (3) must, among other penalties, install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for at least six months in any vehicle they own or operate.

driver license.jpeg

The IID must be installed within 10 days of sentencing. The convicted motorist is also required to surrender their New York drivers license to the court at sentencing. Courts generally grant what is called a "20-day order" which extends the motorist's driving privilege for 20 additional days to permit them the opportunity to enroll in the Drinking Driver Program and qualify for a "conditional license".

In interpreting the provision for installing the IID within 10 days of sentencing to the issuance of a "20-day order" would seem to provide that the convicted motorist would have 20 days of extended full driving privileges and the first 10 days would be free from the IID requirement. This is not the case.

car driving away.jpegAccording to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, even though the motorist has 10 days to install the IID, they CAN NOT operate a motor vehicle without the IID within the first 10 day period.

The defense attorney must advise their client to have the IID installed BEFORE sentencing so they can legally drive themselves away from court.

To avoid further legal complications, an experienced attorney familiar with current DWI legislation should be contacted before the motorist has to appear in court.