Michael F. Nozzolio

November 24, 2015

State Senator Michael Nozzolio today announced that his legislation, S5173, which will reduce drunk driving among repeat violators through the use of ignition interlock devices (IID), was signed into New York law by the Governor. 

“This crucial piece of legislation will strengthen the existing law and close a loophole which allowed repeat DWI offenders to drive their vehicle without an interlock device installed,” said Senator Nozzolio.  “All too often we see the deaths of innocent people due to the senseless actions of a drunk driver.  Use of interlock devices can keep our roads safer and potentially save lives. I am proud to have worked to enact this important legislation into law.”

An IID is an apparatus that is similar to a breathalyzer and is often attached to the ignition system of a motor vehicle as a condition of probation stemming from traffic-related infractions. The vehicle can only be started if the driver blows into the ignition interlock and his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the legal limit of .08 BAC. 

Senator Nozzolio’s measure, sponsored by Assemblyman Buchwald in the Assembly, will allow judges the discretion of extending the use of a mandatory interlock device when an individual has a high probability of repeatedly driving under the influence. 

“The tragic deaths of Stephen Hilyer of Waterloo and most recently, Steven Lester of Manchester, and Patricia Perryman of Canandaigua, serve as a vivid reminder of the permanent damage drunk and reckless drivers inflict on our families and communities. As Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee, I will continue to fight to enact real and meaningful legislation designed to keep repeat drunk drivers off our roads,” said Senator Nozzolio. 

The measure passed unanimously in both the Senate and Assembly.