How Do Ignition Interlocks Work?

Tags: Criminal Defense

Ignition Interlocks Technology seems to be helping decrease drunk driving fatalities across the United States.

A recent survey by Impact DWI, Inc. shows that there are nearly 305,000 ignition interlock devices in use in the United States. The survey also shows that the number of drunk driving fatalities has been decreasing in states that have strict interlock devices usage laws by as much as 30%.

An ignition interlock device is a device that is wired into the ignition system of a motor vehicle. The device analyzes the driver’s breath to determine how much alcohol the driver has in their system. If the device detects a blood level above a certain level, in the state of Alabama the level is .02 or more, the vehicle will not start.

The device also keeps track of other things such as engine restarts and vehicle run times; all of this information is recorded and tracked by the device. All recorded activity goes to the driver’s probation officer, sometimes the information is sent directly in real time, other times the information is sent monthly. While other people may drive the vehicle, the person who the device was installed for will be held responsible for all violations.

If you have 4 positive tests in a one month period, you may be in violation of your probation. If you tamper with the device or fail to get it re-calibrated as directed, you may also be in violation. Monthly recalibration usually costs around $75.00 per month.
Having an ignition interlock device allows people who have been convicted of DUIs the ability to drive, while making sure they are not able to drive drunk.

If you have been previously convicted of a DUI in Alabama within the past five years and are being charged again, the interlock device is mandatory. You will have to have the device installed once you finish your driver’s license suspension.

The ignition interlock is mandatory if you meet any of the following conditions and you are a first-time offender:

  • A BAC of .15 or greater.
  • You refuse to take a breath test.
  • You were driving with a passenger younger than 14.
  • You caused an injury to someone other than yourself.

Some mandatory sentences are for 2 years, but can vary and may be as little as 6 months. Mandatory sentences will be extended for certain violations. Repeat offenses result in longer terms.

If you are required to use ignition interlock device and refuse to have one installed, you may run the risk of fines, jail time and your insurance premiums may increase.

If you are facing criminal charges in Alabama, contact Alabama Criminal Lawyers at (205) 994-0616 or use our online contact form.

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