Term of the Day

Gross Misdemeanor

A gross misdemeanor is a crime committed that is greater or more serious than a regular misdemeanor, but is still considered a minor crime.

Ignition Interlock Devices

Definition - What does Ignition Interlock Devices mean?

Drivers arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicle as a penalty for DUI or as a conditional requirement for reinstating their driver’s license.

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer for your car which requires drivers to blow into the device to start the car. The car will not start, however, if the driver’s breath is above the prescribed breath alcohol limit

How long will I have to have an ignition Interlock device?

While not all states will require drivers to install an ignition interlock device after a DUI, twenty-five states now have this requirement. The effort to influence more states to implement this requirement is also likely to grow over the next coming years with strong groups, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), heavily lobbying for its implementation.

The amount of time you will be required to use the ignition interlock device, however, will vary by state. For example, the State of Washington requires drivers to install an ignition interlock device for at least 6 months for some negligent and reckless driving convictions and at least one year for a first-time DUI offense. Drivers convicted of a second DUI in the state will have to use the IID for at least five years.

Benefits Ignition Interlock Device

Although drivers do not like to use an ignition interlock device, proponents of the device argue there are many benefits. Specifically, the device may allow some drivers to safely retain the right to drive and can reduce the risk of future DUI offenses. Studies also indicate that many Americans support MADD’s efforts to increase the use of ignition interlock devices, especially for repeat DUI offenders.

How do I avoid an ignition interlock installation requirement?

If your state has passed mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device you will not be able to avoid this requirement unless you successfully avoid a prosecution for the DUI charge.

Drivers also can face severe penalties and fines if they remove the IID prior to end the suspension period or they choose to operate a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license. Common penalties for operating a vehicle without a valid license can include criminal charges, high fines, and increase license suspension requirements.

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