Restoring Your Child’s Future

What To Know About Ignition Interlock Devices

Drivers who are arrested and convicted of driving while intoxicated (DUI) can face a large array of punishments. What used to be a minor traffic violation has become a serious criminal offense in all states; you can face jail, a loss of driving privileges, large fines, and more. Increasingly, states are requiring that drivers use an ignition interlock device in their vehicles as a form of both punishment and prevention. Read on to learn more.

What Are Ignition Interlock Devices?

In simple terms, ignition interlock devices are breathalyzers that are attached directly to the ignition of a vehicle. The vehicles cannot be started until the driver blows into an attached tube. The device measures the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the breath the same way the portable BAC devices used at roadside stops do. If the device measures any alcohol in the breath of the driver, the car cannot be started. In addition to the initial BAC test, the device also tests the driver at intervals while they are driving. These so-called "rolling tests" won't make the car stop, but the results are transmitted to law enforcement, the department of motor vehicles, and your probation officer.

Hardship Licenses

Drivers convicted of a DUI can often face a loss of their driver's license. For those who need to drive to work and to drive their children, an ignition interlock device might be part of a hardship driver's license. These licenses, which are also known as restricted licenses, come with conditions that restrict the driver's actions. For example, some conditions cover only certain times of day and only to certain locations. Many states won't issue a hardship license without the installation of the ignition interlock device on the defendant's vehicles.

The Laws Vary Concerning Ignition Interlock Devices

The states are divided on how these devices are used. In some states, only certain offenders are given this opportunity to continue driving after a DUI conviction. Some states leave the decision up to the judge and some states impose the device use on all DUI offenders.

Understanding the Cost of an Ignition Interlock Device

These devices must be paid for by the offender and can be very expensive. The cost includes the use of the device, the installation of it, and the removal of it. Additionally, you can expect to pay a monthly fee while you are using the device. The cost of having not being able to drive at all, however, is incalculable.

To learn more about ignition interlock devices, contact a law office like DUI Lawyers of Las Vegas today.