Interviewer: You mentioned earlier about some classes that are required to attend. Let’s break down the costs of those.
Eric Sachs: Okay. The Department of Motor Vehicle charges $500 for the Drinking Driver Program. For the Victim Impact Panel, the DMV also charges a few hundred dollars for a person to be able to attend that program as well. Again, on top of those, the DMV has its fees for a person whose license is suspended, for a conditional license, and to restore the license to a full license. If the license is revoked, then the motorist has to take the driver’s test all over again and there are those fees associated with that.
Interviewer: How long are the initial classes?
Eric Sachs: The Drinking Drivers Program is a series of seven classes. They’re given on a certain schedule and there are weekends available.
Ignition Interlock Device
Interviewer: If someone were to be getting an ignition interlock device, what are the costs they are going to be seeing for installation, maintenance, and removal?
Eric Sachs: There is an installation fee that ranges anywhere between $750 and $950 for the installation of the interlock device in the car itself. Then, depending on the company that the motorist uses, there is a monthly maintenance fee that ranges anywhere from $75 to $100 a month to have this in the car. lf it breaks or something happens, the motorist is responsible for that. At the end of the time, the motorist has to pay to have it removed from the car.
Interviewer: For how long could someone have an interlock device?
Eric Sachs: ln New York, the minimum they would have it for would be one year.
If the person’s placed on probation for three years, you can have the Interlock device for the entire time you’re on probation. Now, for a person that has a felony case, and they’re on probation for five years, they could be for the five years they are on probation. There are some motorists for whom the DMV has what they call a “look-back period” of 25 years to see what kind of driving record the person has. The DMV then will determine whether or not they want to give the person their license back. Some people can get a restricted license with an interlock device. It’s actually possible for somebody to have an interlock device in their car for almost eight years.
Interviewer: So these do require monthly maintenance and there is a fee for monthly maintenance, right?
Eric Sachs: Correct. And that’s if there’s any car that the person owns or operates. So it’s possible for somebody to have to have the expense of installing an interlock device and paying monthly maintenance on it and not be driving the car. If they don’t have a license, they cannot drive the car, but if they own the car, they have to have the interlock device in it anyway. It requires that you blow into it once a day, even if you’re not driving it. You have to maintain it, so you have to pay for it every month.
By Eric Sachs