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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Ignition Interlock Program Monitoring (2015-MS-4)
We also released six letter reports to the Counties of Cortland, Erie, Montgomery, Otsego, Suffolk and Wayne.


Released: April 25, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if counties using public resources for the State’s Ignition Interlock Program were adequately monitoring the program to help ensure the safety of the public, for the period January 1, 2010 through May 29, 2015.

Background

On November 18, 2009, New York State enacted the Child Passenger Protection Act, commonly referred to as "Leandra’s Law," to protect public safety. It requires that, as a condition of being sentenced for certain alcohol-related offenses occurring on or after August 15, 2010, convicted individuals must install and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicle they own or operate for a certain period of time. The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services has regulations for counties and others establishing standards for the usage and monitoring of IIDs ordered by criminal courts for these alcohol-related sentences. County probation departments monitor court-ordered installations and IID use for probation sentences, and the county identifies a responsible party to monitor conditional discharge sentences. The assigned monitors must report related violations to the appropriate court and district attorney as well as certain negative IID activity.

Key Findings

  • Each county had a process for monitoring IID installations and negative activities of vehicle operators, and generally worked with the operators to help ensure compliance. However, the county officials responsible did not always report violations to the appropriate court and district attorney as required.
  • The counties’ assigned program monitors were late in reporting 14 cases (in Erie and Wayne) out of 66 that did not comply with program regulations because they either installed the IIDs late or did not install them at all; and did not report 50 cases at all (in Cortland, Erie, Montgomery, Otsego, Suffolk and Wayne).
  • None of the six counties consistently provided notifications to the courts and district attorneys of operators with negative IID activity. Of the 70 cases with negative IID activity, 55 were either not reported (in Cortland, Erie, Montgomery, Otsego and Suffolk) or not reported in a timely manner (in Cortland, Suffolk and Wayne).

Key Recommendation

  • Department officials should report all IID Program violations to the courts and district attorneys in a timely manner.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236