Understanding The Ignition Interlock Device

If you are convicted of a DUI, many states will require you to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle for a predetermined amount of time once you are granted driving permission again. Whether or not you need an IID will depend on what type of conviction you receive and where you are located. If you are required to use an IID, there are several things that you should know. 

You Should Attend an IID Training Session

IIDs are made by several manufacturers, and each model operates somewhat differently. For example, you may be asked to hum a tone into the device while you blow into it or you may be required to sustain your breath for a certain number of seconds in order for your vehicle to start. To make sure you know how to operate your IID, you may want to attend a training at your IID service station before you have the device installed and begin using it. 

Training sessions usually cover how to operate the device, where to take it for servicing, and what can cause false positives on the device, such as using mouthwash before trying to start your vehicle. 

​Regular Maintenance Checkups Are Critical

There are two main types of IIDs. The first type sends information to a monitoring service while you are operating your vehicle. The second type stores the information and it is collected at regular intervals during service visits. Whichever type you have installed, it is important that you show up for your regularly scheduled maintenance visits. These visits are as important as visits with a parole officer, and regularly missing checkups can result in further legal action. 

Additionally, if you miss a visit, your vehicle may be permanently locked, meaning you will not be able to drive it until a qualified technician unlocks it. 

Other Drivers Can Still Use Your Vehicle 

If you have an IID installed, other drivers can still drive your vehicle. This can be useful if you have been drinking but have a sober friend who can drive your car. However, they will have to use the IID to start the car, and if they fail the breath analysis, you may be held accountable for their attempt to drive while intoxicated. One way to prevent this is to install an IID with a video recording option. If someone regularly uses your vehicle, they may want to attend an IID training session. 

There Can Be Severe Penalties for Having Someone Else Activate Your Vehicle While You Are Intoxicated 

Some drivers try to bypass the IID by having a sober friend start the vehicle for them. However, most devices require you to continue to provide breath samples while you are driving, and if a sample has alcohol content in it, this may be discovered by the authorities. This can result in a second DUI or an extension of your current sentence. 

You May Not Be Allowed to Drive a Car Without an IID

In some states the law simply requires you to have an IID installed in your primary vehicle. However, many states are adding laws that people with restricted licences may not operate any vehicle without an IID. If you are caught operating a vehicle without an IID, even if you are sober, you may be subject to legal penalties, including the loss of your licence. 

If an IID is mandated as part of your plea bargain or as part of a conviction for a DUI, it is important to educate yourself about the rules in your area and follow them exactly. After the restriction on your licence has been removed, you may opt to get the IID removed from your vehicle. 

For more information or if you need any legal advice regarding your situation, talk with your DUI attorney.