Can the Court force me to sell my car if I get a DWI and don’t want the interlock device because I won’t be using my car?
Pursuant to Leandra’s Law, a condition of sentence for a D.W.I. conviction is that an interlock device must be placed on your vehicle. This interlock device is fairly expensive, as you must pay a private company to have it installed. In addition, you must pay a monthly fee for its continued use and observation.
Some people that have been convicted of a DWI would rather not have an interlock device placed on their vehicle. Thus, the question arises, what can the court do, in the event that you own a vehicle, but do not want an interlock device placed on it, because you will not be driving?
In People v. Donaldson, the Appellate Division held that a court could appropriately make it a condition of probation that a probationer dispose of vehicles he owned, if they did not have an interlock device affixed to them. Thus, according to the Appellate Division, a person convicted of DWI can be forced to sell or otherwise dispose of his or her car. In fact, such a condition can apparently be imposed for a probationer (sentenced to probation for DWI) even if they are willing to affix an interlock device on their vehicles.
And, while many individuals charged for their first DWI might believe that probation is an unlikely occurrence, it is becoming more likely recently than it has been in the past. Thus, even on a first DWI conviction, there are concerns related to retaining your car.
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