Can a New York City Taxi Driver Use an Ignition Interlock?

New York City TaxiWhen we think of New York City, there’s the ever-present image of a yellow taxi that assures us we’ve got a safe ride to work, or even home after a night of drinking. Taxi drivers are regulated in New York City, meaning that they go through an involved process that determines if they are safe enough to be trusted with transporting others in their vehicle. Obviously, these regulations mean they cannot do drugs or have too many traffic violations, and it absolutely means they shouldn’t have any DWI convictions.

New York law doesn’t specifically prevent a taxi driver from working after a DWI. The law doesn’t require that any person who must drive during the course of their job to install an ignition interlock device, either, just that they have to have their employer’s permission to drive. That’s where the regulations of the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission seem to close that loophole: any DWI conviction means that the offender is not eligible to drive a taxi, even with an ignition interlock installed, and if they get a DWI after receiving a license to drive a taxi, it will not be renewed.

A taxi driver in New York City, or anywhere, is trusted to get passengers from one destination to another. That means they need to follow all of the rules of the road, and even have stricter requirements for their license in order to assure the public of their dedication to safety. An ignition interlock device is obviously not a reasonable alternative for a convicted DWI offender who drives a taxi, and there are no laws that require the devices for all transportation agents. Until that day, we can all rest assured in the comfort of our NYC cab that the driver will keep us safe, no matter our destination.

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