Can someone else use my car if it has an ignition interlock device unit installed?


If you get a DWI you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, and use the ignition interlock device every time you start your vehicle. The ignition interlock device will be used to prohibit you from starting your car if you have been drinking. If you have an ignition interlock device installed in your car you can still allow others to drive your vehicle, they just have to use the ignition interlock device before the car will start. Any legally licensed driver can operate your vehicle while the ignition interlock device is installed in your vehicle.

Before the car can be started the driver will be required to blow into the ignition interlock device so that a measurement of the driver’s breath alcohol concentration can be taken. The ignition interlock device will have predetermined limits for the driver’s breath alcohol concentration. These predetermined limits are set by the state of New York. As long as the driver’s breath alcohol concentration levels are not over those predetermined limits when they blow into the ignition interlock device they will be allowed to start the car.

The steps for using the ignition interlock device are very easy, but you should be sure that each driver understands how the test will be completed before they blow into the ignition interlock device. Any person who uses your vehicle should also know that there is a rolling retest that will take place 5 to 15 minutes after the first test.

The driver will have time to respond to each retest, and pull over if they feel that’s safer for them, before retesting their breath alcohol concentration. The retests will continue to happen periodically through the rest of your drive. The driver is required to complete all retests, and if a retest is not completed a violation will be registered in the ignition interlock device log. Some devices may also sound an alarm, such as making the horn honk, or flashing the headlights, and these alarm would draw attention to your vehicle.

The purpose of these retests is to make sure the driver is not providing a false test at any point. If the retest is failed by you or another driver the car will not immediately stop, as that would be a hazard to traffic and other drivers. Instead, the ignition interlock device will log a violation in the monthly report. As the registered user of the ignition interlock device you will be responsible for any and all positive tests that show up in the monthly log for your ignition interlock device. If you are having someone else blow into the ignition interlock device so that you may start your car, you and your passenger should know that the state of New York has laws that impose fines or jail time on those who are trying to circumvent the proper usage of an ignition interlock device. 


May 2020
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