Earlier this month, two New York men were arrested for attempting to bypass an ignition interlock device in a vehicle. Officers investigated the men after a tip was phoned into the State Police.
Nearly all individuals convicted of New York DWI offenses must have ignition interlock devices installed in their cars. Drivers are required to blow into the device and prove sobriety before their vehicles will start.
In this case, the man with the interlock device was unable to unlock his ignition because he had a small amount of alcohol in his system. So, he contacted his friend to come switch vehicles with him. The friend unlocked the car with the device and drove it, while the first individual drove the friend's car. Both were arrested when they arrived at their destination.
The first man is charged with operating a vehicle without an interlock device and operating a vehicle in violation of a restricted license. The second man is charged with facilitating operation of an interlocked vehicle and driving without a license.
New York takes ignition interlock tampering very seriously. As this story illustrates, attempts to have a friend circumvent the interlock can result in significant legal penalties. Further, the interlock device is able to detect attempts to tamper with the hardware. Even if the user isn't caught in the act, the attempted tampering will be automatically reported at the next monthly check-in.
The device will also report a violation if the driver attempted to start the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
If you are required to use an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, don't attempt to get around its restrictions. By doing so, you may end up in even more trouble.
Source: WIBV, "Two Arrests in Scheme to Bypass Device," Eli George, April 3, 2012.