D.W.I. & Ignition Interlock

There are over 400 D.W.I. Offenders currently being supervised by the Oneida County Probation Department and with each case there comes a strict level of accountability and strong punitive measures enacted for the purpose of attempting to prevent additional D.W.I. charges. Some of the accountability and punitive measures in place are as follows:

Court Fines: can be from $500 to $5,000 depending on the conviction and the judge

Court Fees: in addition to the fine, which is a punitive measure imposed by the court, fees are the costs of the court passed on to the Offender and they are $325 for a Misdemeanor and $520 for a Felony

Probation Surcharge: if an Offender is sentenced to a period of Probation supervision for either a Misdemeanor or a Felony there is a $30 per month surcharge until the Probation term is complete.

DMV Fees: When an individual is convicted of D.W.I. in the form of a Misdemeanor or a Felony, their license is revoked for a period of six (6) months for a Misdemeanor and twelve (12) months for a Felony. If the individual is convicted of Aggravated D.W.I., a blood alcohol content of .18 or higher, there is an additional six (6) month revocation added to each DMV sanction. If an individual is convicted of D.W.A.I., the license is suspended for a period of six (6) months. **For more information regarding the difference between revocation and suspension, please contact the New York State DMV. In addition to the court fines, court fees, and Probation Surcharge, when an Offender is convicted of a D.W.I. or D.W.A.I, the DMV will assess a $750 Risk Assessment Fee, $250 for three years; if an individual refuses to submit to a breathalyzer when stopped by law enforcement, the DMV will assess a $750 fee if the individual is convicted which will be added to all the other fees / fines / surcharges.

Punitive Measures:

Probation Supervision: An Offender convicted of D.W.I. as a Misdemeanor can be sentenced to a period of Probation supervision for three (3) years and for an Offender convicted of D.W.I. as a Felony can be sentenced to a period of five (5) years. The term of Probation is mandatory, but not all convictions result in a Probation sentence.

In addition to reporting to Probation an Offender is absolutely forbidden to consume, purchase, or be in possession of any alcoholic beverage. Any deviation from this condition can and most likely will result in a Violation of Probation petition being brought before the sentencing judge. Offender’s on Probation are also forbidden from entering any establishments where the primary business is the serving and consumption of alcohol, which include bars, sports bars, night clubs, etc. An Offender on Probation must submit to an alco-sensor screen, breathalyzer test, at any time deemed necessary by the Probation Department. Any D.W.I. Felony conviction results in forfeiture of the right to possess or control a firearm which includes: shotguns, hunting rifles, black powder and muzzleloaders, or antique firearms. **An Offender may still hunt with a bow.
 

Any Offender sentenced to a period of Probation supervision should be aware that the Oneida County Probation Department conducts “Operation Nightwatch” on a regular basis. This focused effort utilizes cooperation between the Oneida County Probation Department and local bars, sports bars, and clubs as Probation Officer and members of other local law enforcement conduct bar checks throughout Oneida County on frequent occasions. Any Offender found to be in a bar, sports bar, club or other establishment precluded by their Conditions of Probation, will be violated and referred back to the sentencing court immediately with a term of incarceration to be enforced, without exception.

Any individual found guilty of D.W.I. with a juvenile / child under the age of 16 in the State of New York is an automatic felony, regardless of the blood alcohol content or the number of previous D.W.I. convictions as result of the recently enacted Leandra’s Law.

Any individual convicted of D.W.I. under the age of 21 years old is given a mandatory 3 Year Probation Supervision sentence; reduction of the charges is not an option.

The presiding judge in Oneida County for all D.W.I.’s does NOT grant early discharges for Felony D.W.I. convictions, no exceptions.

An Offender is required to attend a Victim Impact Panel, which also requires a basic fee to be paid.

An Offender is required to obtain an alcohol evaluation within 60 days of their sentencing.

If an Offender is believed to have consumed alcohol or been found in an establishment that serves alcohol, another accountability measure may be imposed without additional consent from the Probationer or permission needed by the sentencing court. This measure is referred to as S.C.R.A.M., which stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. The SCRAM monitor is an ankle bracelet secured to the Offender’s leg and monitors for the presence of alcohol through the glands in the skin. The SCRAM bracelet is an alternative to incarceration but requires the Offender to pay approximately $9 per day for its use. Failure to pay the necessary amount may also result in a violation of Probation petition being filed against the Offender, regardless of their compliance otherwise. If you have any questions regarding the SCRAM bracelet or need to contact someone regarding their services and / or fees, you may visit their website: http://alcoholmonitoring.com/ - with a contact person being Marcella Hoyos.

An Offender is NOT permitted to have any vehicle registered in their name unless Ignition Interlock is installed on the vehicle, regardless of the status of the Offender’s license.

Ignition Interlock:

In addition to the above mentioned costs and punitive measures, any Offender convicted of D.W.I, either a Misdemeanor or a Felony, and is sentenced to a Conditional Discharge or a term of Probation, installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they own and / or operate is mandatory, without exception. There are installation fees, monthly fees, and additional accountability measures in place for the ignition interlock device and its associated maintenance. Additional information is as follows:

  IGNITION INTERLOCK INSTALLATION

You are required to install an Ignition Interlock Device on all vehicles owned or operated within 10 business days of the date you were sentenced.  You must further provide written notice of installation to the monitoring agency of the installation within 3 business days of the installation.

In regard to this procedure, there are some things you need to understand:

  • A business day is defined as any Monday through Friday that is not a federal holiday.
  • Failure to notify the monitoring agency (Oneida County Probation Department) in writing within the time noted above may lead to a violation of the terms of your Conditional Discharge which may result in the Court issuing a warrant for your arrest and you being subjected to a term of incarceration as allowed by law.

In order to determine what class of device you must install and where you can have it installed, you must contact the monitoring agency.  They will assist you in identifying local installation sites that are able to install the proper device.  You are responsible for contacting the vendor and making arrangements to have the device installed.  Unless the Court specifically waives the cost, you are responsible for all fees and cost for the installation, operation, maintenance and removal of the ignition interlock device(s).

At the time of installation, the installation site will provide operational training to all individuals who need to operate the vehicle after the installation of the device.  This training will be done at the time of installation and you must ensure that all individuals who are going to operate the vehicle are present at the time of installation.

In Oneida County, the Oneida County Probation Department has been determined to be the monitoring agency.  It is required that you contact them within 3 business days as you have only 10 business days to get the device installed.  Here is their contact information:

Mark Edick
Oneida County Probation Department
321 Main Street
Utica, NY  13501

Monday – Friday 8:30AM – 4:30PM
(315) 798-5914  -  Ask for Mark Edick

Prior to installation of the Ignition Interlock Device, you will need to provide the installation/service provider AND the Oneida County Probation Department with the following:

  • Your photo identification or license for examination purposes;
  • The name and policy number of your motor vehicle insurance (bring your insurance card);
  • The vehicle registration card.

Upon the installation of the Ignition Interlock device, the Oneida County Probation Department will be monitoring your vehicle(s).  They will provide you with instructions as to how and when to communicate with them during the period of time the device(s) are installed.

The device must be installed for a minimum of 6 months and may not be removed without authorization from the Court or the monitoring agency, which in Oneida County is the Oneida County Probation Department.  The Court will not automatically contact the NYS Department of Motor Vehicle; it is your responsibility to petition this Court.

Failure to comply with all instruction may lead to a violation of the terms and conditions of your Conditional Discharge.  This may lead to the Court issuing a warrant for your arrest and you being subjected to a term of incarceration as maybe allowed by law.  These instructions include, but are not limited to the following instructions:

  • The Courts instructions as shown in your terms and conditions of your Conditional Discharge or Probation;
  • The instructions provided to you by the monitoring agency (in Oneida County that is the Oneida County Probation Department);
  • The installation site which will provide you operational and maintenance instructions from the device manufacture;
  • The device manufacture which may provide you with written and/or web-based operational and maintenance instructions.

As these time limits are somewhat short, if you have any questions or trouble with this process, it is highly recommended that you immediately contact your attorney for advice as to how to proceed.

Here is a list of qualified Ignition Interlock manufactures for New York State.  You make check their websites to learn more to assist you in making an informed decision.

Intoxalock by CST, Inc. www.intoxalock.com
Smart Start www.smartstartinc.com
Draeger Safety, Inc. www.draeger-breathalyzer.com