If you've read any news articles about DWI charges, you've probably heard about an ignition interlock device. But what exactly is this device and will you be required to have one if you're charged with DWI? Here's what you need to know about ignition interlock devices.
What Exactly is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device locks your car's engine to prevent it from starting. To start your car, you will need to blow into the interlock device.
The ignition interlock device contains a Breathalyzer. If it detects any alcohol on your breath, your car won't start. If you have no alcohol in your system, the car will operate normally.
Some ignition interlock devices may also have a time limit and require additional tests on longer drives to keep you from getting someone else to blow into it to start your car for you.
When is an Ignition Interlock Device Required?
The law now requires most people who have been convicted of DWI to use an ignition interlock device for some period of time. This is true even for a first conviction.
The length of time depends on the state and severity of the offense. It can range from a few weeks to the full length of a probation sentence that could be several years long.
Who Pays for an Ignition Interlock Device?
The person convicted of DWI is responsible for paying for the installation of the device. Driving is considered to be a privilege and not a right, and this cost is required to restore their driving privilege.
Courts generally maintain that someone who can afford to maintain a car can afford the device and will not order the state to pay for the device.
What Happens if you Drive Someone Else's Car?
An ignition interlock device must be installed on every car a person who has been convicted of uses. It does not matter if they share a car with someone else or rotate between multiple cars owned by their household.
Driving without an ignition interlock device when one has been required to use one is a violation of the terms of probation. This may result in being rearrested, having the probation revoked, and being re-sentenced to time in prison.
To learn more about how to avoid having an ignition interlock device on your car or to get help beating a DWI charge, contact a local criminal defense attorney today.
For a criminal defense lawyer, contact a law firm such as Boehmer Law.