The ignition interlock devicesare instruments designed to prevent someone from driving a vehicle when the device detects alcohol on the breath of the person who would be the driver. Almost all states have laws about driving in state of drunkenness that allow or require judges to order the use of ignition interlock devices on vehicles driven by certain individuals convicted of DUI offenses.
The laws of each state vary greatly with respect to ignition interlock devices. You should refer to the laws on drunk driving specific for each state to find out if the use of an ignition interlock device is mandatory or if it is at the discretion of the judge in each case.
How Ignition Interlock Device Works
The ignition interlock devices measure the alcohol content in blood of the driver and disables the vehicle ignition when the breath of the driver contains alcohol. Most of these devices use a lockout period to prevent the ignition of the vehicle when they detect more than a threshold level under of alcohol content in blood. In general, the lockout period is increased for each failed test.
During repeated tests the majority of ignition interlock devices point to the need to perform a new breath test. If, within a given time, the machine does not confirm that the breath is clean, it can sound an alarm, or the horn of the car so that the driver turn the vehicle off. The ignition interlock devices are not designed to shut down a moving vehicle in the course of a test failing. Depending on the implemented system, the device may save information related to the repetition of the failed examination.
Discretionary Ignition Interlock Device Laws
In general, the laws of each state delegated to the judges the discretion to require the use of an ignition interlock device for certain persons convicted of driving while intoxicated, such as first-time offenders. Under the laws of many states, ignition interlock devices may be used during a part of the period for which he would suspend the license of the offender.
In these situations, offenders who qualify must meet other requirements of sentence to be able to drive with one of these devices. These requirements may include imprisonment, probation, pay a fine, complete a treatment program for alcohol abuse and a period of total suspension of the driving license, among other things.
Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device Laws
For a growing number of states, ignition interlock devices are mandatory, rather than left to the discretion of the judge, in certain types of cases from driving while intoxicated. The most common situations in which states require one of these devices (in the case of the offender to want to drive) include the following:
- having multiple convictions for driving while intoxicated;
- the presence of a minor in the vehicle at the time of the incident; and
- having a blood alcohol level high.
Ignition Interlock Device Price and Installation
States have rules regarding the installation and inspection of ignition interlock devices. In general, the device must be installed by an installer certified by the state and the drivers must provide proof of installation to the court. Often, the laws of the state also require periodic inspections of the device by a certified installer. The ignition interlock device price is about 75$ a month and possible installation and uninstallation fee.
In general, the offender must pay the costs associated with the ignition interlock device. This may include the cost of the device itself, the costs of installation, monitoring, or calibration, and a security deposit or the insurance cost of the device. Some states (but not all) reduce certain fines for driving in a drunken state to those who prove to be unable to pay the costs of an ignition interlock device.
Consult A Lawyer who Specializes in DUI
Almost all states include ignition interlock devices in the penalties for driving while intoxicated of certain offenders. These devices analyze the breath of the driver before allowing them to start the vehicle and repeat the test periodically while driving. Depending on the specific details of the conviction for driving while intoxicated, in some states the laws may require the use of an ignition interlock device, or your requirement can be at the discretion of the judge.
If you or a family member is arrested for DUI, you may need the services of a lawyer who specializes in DUI. A lawyer who specializes in defending charges of DUI will evaluate all of the evidence, including the procedure and results of field sobriety tests and chemical substances, to ensure protection of their rights. In addition, it is important to speak with an attorney familiar with the laws of your jurisdiction. Most offer free consultations, so your first step should be to contact a lawyer who specializes in DUI.