Glenn R. Bruno, Esq.
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Working Hard to Protect Your Rights As a Poughkeepsie criminal defense attorney, I have been serving the people of the Hudson Valley for more than 20 years through diligent, assertive and quality criminal defense. I am prepared to put my experience to work for you.

Ignition interlock devices not used by many with DWI convictions

Many New Yorkers who have been convicted of drunk driving and ordered to use interlock ignition devices may not be using those devices. They are getting around it by borrowing the cars of others even though their licenses say they must use the device.

The study found that nearly 80 percent of drivers in Schenectady and Rensselaer counties who were supposed to use the device did not while around two-thirds of offenders in Albany and Saratoga counties did not. In 15 counties, between 90 and 100 percent of convicted drivers did not have the device installed.

In some cases, offenders are simply opting not to drive. The ignition interlock devices cost $90 to install, and they may be unable to afford it. The devices were introduced as part of Leandra's Law in 2010, and when installed and used by the driver as intended, can be effective. They come with a camera to prevent the driver from having a sober friend use the device to test the blood alcohol level. Drivers who are required to use the device and do not may face a fine, and others who allow them to use their vehicles might as well.

Being required to install an ignition interlock device is only one of the penalties a person may face if convicted of drunk driving. Fines, jail time and license suspension are all possibilities as well. However, there may also be a number of ways that people can defend against charges of drunk driving. The person may have had an unexpected reaction to a medication or a medical condition. An officer's report of a driver's behavior at the scene might be challenged. A person might also get a lighter penalty in exchange for pleading guilty to lesser charges.

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