Can I Drive Another Car if I Have an Ignition Interlock?

Friends don't let friends drive without ignition interlock An ignition interlock device is a commitment to sober driving and a better life after a DUI, especially when you trust the process. We get that it can be frustrating, but there’s simply no easier way to get on with your life while proving you’ll never make another impaired mistake again. That also means that you have to drive your vehicle only when it is equipped with the interlock.

Can I drive a friend’s car? No, unless your state law explicitly states this is legal, you cannot borrow your friend’s car. The exception might be if that friend also has an ignition interlock. Even then, check with your probation officer or ignition interlock provider to be sure.

Can I rent a car? No, just no. Not one rental car company will allow you to drive their vehicles, as your driver’s license will clearly indicate your ignition interlock restriction. It is highly unlikely that those companies will install an interlock on a vehicle for you either.

Can I test drive a car? Nope. Much like renting a car, you’re going to have a tough time getting a dealership to install a “quickie” ignition interlock on their vehicles, just for a test drive. Plus, dealerships will also see your restriction on your license, and in some states, that could mean legal trouble for “knowingly allowing an interlock-restricted driver to drive a non-interlock equipped vehicle.”

What about at work? In some states, you can actually qualify for an employment exemption if you are required to drive a vehicle as a part of your normal duties. Check with your ignition interlock service provider for details.

Also, remember that not driving isn’t really an option when you have an ignition interlock on your vehicle. The device records more than just information about your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as you drive, like the amount of starts and stops you make, how many miles you drive, how long you take to drive, etc. That information can be used to determine whether you are driving your interlock-equipped vehicle or perhaps driving a friend’s car instead.

Ignition Interlock Info: Can I Drink at Home?

drink at home with an ignition interlockSo you have an ignition interlock device in your life now, which gives you the freedom to drive. That also means you have a lot of responsibility to prove, which is kind of the point. Once you’ve settled into the routine with your device and new life, you may actually have more questions. In particular, you might be wondering what your limitations with alcohol are apart from driving.

You’re a grown-up, and make your own choices. An ignition interlock device doesn’t stop you from making a choice to drink. It does prevent you from drinking and driving. In most cases, you are okay to drink when you’re at home, or even if you’re out and about. In either case, you should not have any plans to drive until you’re sure you are sober.

Any amount of alcohol you consume can be recorded by your ignition interlock device and could potentially be a violation.

On the other hand, if you are part of a 24/7 sobriety program, you no longer have any choice about whether you drink alcohol or not. You are expected to submit clean breath samples throughout the day, not just before you try to drive, as with an ignition interlock. Obviously that means you cannot drink at home, out on the town, or anywhere.

In most cases, an ignition interlock requirement (and even a 24/7 sobriety program) doesn’t last forever. While it may be inconvenient to refrain from drinking with friends, the benefit is that you can continue to drive. The device gives you back your life, almost as if a DUI never happened, essentially restoring your freedom to choose your own adventures in life, as long as your driving adventures are sober ones.

MADD Says No Favors for Texas DWI Cops

MADD about Texas DWI copsThere are many reasons to be proud of Texas and its continued fight against drunk drivers across the state. In the last year the state expanded ignition interlock device access to include all Texas DWI offenders, not just those with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or with multiple offenses. That expansion allows a first-offense DWI offender the ability to legally drive their own vehicle as long as there is an interlock installed, in exchange for providing a BAC sample to the device.

Three Texas police officers were arrested for DWI in a span of fewer than four hours last week. Rodriguez faces a charge of drunken driving with a child under the age of 15 in the car. She remains in Texas county jail on an $8,000 bond for felony DUI. Thomaston was stopped by an officer after he allegedly began to drive erratically. Thomaston was found to have been drinking and booked on a drunk driving charge. He faces a misdemeanor DUI and remains in a Texas county jail on a $1,200 bond. Both have been placed on administrative leave pending a full internal and criminal investigation. The third law enforcement agent, a young deputy, Sabrina Moreno, was arrested for drunk driving, less than a mile away from the location where Thomaston was arrested.

In 2012, 782 cases of police officers arrested for DWI  in the U.S. were recorded through Google searches and alerts.

You don’t normally see a police officer arrested for drunk driving, but just because it doesn’t happen very often doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. MADD says Texas DWI cops show nobody is above the law.  Through the expansion of the ignition interlock laws last year, everyone will have access to the program. Sometimes cops make the wrong choice too, and that choice can lead to the same penalties everyone else faces.

Uber Scary: We’re Paying California DUI Drivers?

California DUI Uber drivers? What?Uber is facing yet another controversy. This time regulators are claiming the company ignored reports about drivers who are under the influence and frequently allowed drivers facing multiple California DUI complaints to keep picking up passengers. In a complaint published to the Public Utilities Commission of California (PUCC), says it reviewed 154 zero tolerance complaints about Uber drivers between August 2014, and August 2015—and that the company only conducted any sort of investigation in 21 of those cases.

The PUCC also found Uber attempted to contact the driver in only 50 of those cases and that, in at least 25 cases, the company failed to suspend or investigate drivers facing three or more California DUI complaints. In multiple situations, data reportedly showed that drivers cited for impaired driving stayed on the road picking up Uber customers—even when the company had technically suspended them.

Recently, a Lyft driver made headlines by being seen with an ignition interlock device in their vehicle, giving passengers an interesting glimpse into California DUI consequences. Obviously, the device was a little unsettling, even as it guaranteed the driver was sober. Either way we look at the issue, stricter rules surrounding rideshare service drivers should become a priority soon.

Under California law, ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft are exempt from a random drug and alcohol screening program imposed on other commercial driving operations provided the companies implement a series of zero tolerance measures to take action on impaired drivers. While Uber’s Community Guidelines do state that the company may suspend drivers if they receive multiple unconfirmed complaints of drug or alcohol use, the PUCC pointed out that this not only goes against the zero tolerance rule but that Uber didn’t even stick to their own policy.

The zero tolerance measures include providing customers with a way to flag drivers under the influence (including phone in-app contacts) and promptly investigating drivers who are the subject of complaints.

Texas Underage DWI: MADD about Prom Season

Prom and Texas underage DWIProm season is here and soon graduation parties will be a cause for celebration, but sometimes at a high cost to teenage lives. Underage drinking is a problem that has serious consequences for the entire family, perhaps most especially for the adults.  A Texas underage DWI assigns responsibility for underage drinking not only to the teens who consume alcohol but also to adults who provide it to teens. As such, MADD is launching a Power of Parents campaign to bring parents and teens together to talk about the dangers of drunk driving.

MADD warns that even after a Texas underage DWI, when the teen or minor has their license reinstated, they may still have to drive under the watchful eye of the courts. In these cases, the court may order the minor to install an ignition interlock device on his or her car or on the car that the minor drives the most frequently. This will have to be done at the minor’s own expense. In many cases, that means the parent is financially responsible, and as the owners of a household vehicle, the parent will have to use the device as if they were convicted of a Texas underage DWI, too.

Ignition interlock devices can be installed in any vehicle, even if you haven’t been arrested or charged with drunk driving. Many parents install ignition interlock devices in their child’s vehicles to help guarantee sober driving and bring peace of mind. Teen alcohol use kills 4,700 people each year, according to MADD. An interlock device can help provide peace of mind by preventing your child from starting their vehicle after they have consumed alcohol.

Power of Parents is one of three programs in MADD’s underage drinking prevention initiative. They are designed to empower teens to take a stand and influence their peers against underage drinking or riding in a car with someone who has been drinking. Power of Parents utilizes environmental strategies to reshape community attitudes to discourage adults from providing alcohol to underage youth and encouraging support for efforts to enforce the minimum drinking age. Combined, the three programs work together for total community mobilization to prevent and reduce underage drinking.

Virginia Ignition Interlock Violation or Test Failure?

Virginia ignition interlock workaroundVirginia has been known for its tough stance on DUI for many years. From the VASAP program to an ignition interlock device with camera requirement for all offenses, Virginia wants you to have the best tools for your recovery after a DUI.  If you have a Virginia ignition interlock or car breathalyzer, there are certain expectations that you must fulfill in order to remain compliant with the court. Living your life after a DUI can be complicated, considering the court costs and fines, community service and your ability to legally drive. Driving with an ignition interlock after a DUI is one of the least complicated issues you’ll confront after your conviction, as long as there aren’t any violations.

Virginia ignition interlock violations will have a direct impact on your ability to keep driving legally, or how long you are required to use the device. Many times, however, an ignition interlock test failure can be quickly “fixed” by a person who hasn’t had any alcohol to drink and accidentally went through the initial start-up test incorrectly. The difference between a fail and a violation comes down to the reason for the test failure. An ignition interlock violation is a result of drinking alcohol and then blowing into the device. An ignition interlock test failure is the result of anything that can set off the device that isn’t alcohol-based, such as mouthwash. The latter is called a contaminant-related fail.

Virginia ignition interlock violations include:

An alcohol-based blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .02 percent or higher on any ignition interlock test.

Skipping a rolling re-test when the vehicle is in motion.

Concealing your identity for a test by asking another person to blow into your device.

A test failure is easily corrected, as you are allowed to submit more than one breath sample when the error occurs. These types of ignition interlock anomalies can happen due to improperly submitting a breath sample, or due to the presence of alcohol in your mouth from mouthwashes or medications.  Within a few minutes, if you submit a clean breath sample, no violation will be recorded. A rolling re-test failure will also allow the same time frame for submitting a clean breath sample.

Mississippi Ignition Interlock Credit for Time Served

Mississippi ignition interlock creditAdministrative processes can take a lot of time, especially with a Mississippi DUI. From the DMV to a court hearing, there’s a lot of waiting in between, and not much you can do to get on with your life, except to install a Mississippi ignition interlock device. If you submitted to and failed a chemical test your license will be suspended for a minimum of 90 days.  The arresting officer will issue you a temporary permit that will allow you to drive up until your DUI criminal trial.  If your trial date gets pushed out, you may request an extension of your temporary permit through the court.

State law says that you can install a Mississippi ignition interlock device (you will need to be eligible through the DMV) even if you haven’t been ordered to by the court. If you go ahead and do that, once you get into court, you’ll be credited for the time you’ve already spent with the device.  A person who installs an ignition interlock device and obtains an interlock restricted license before conviction or non-adjudication shall be given credit for the time period the ignition interlock device has been in use at the time of sentencing or non-adjudication. A non-adjudication is where the judge withholds a judgment of guilt after a guilty plea or trial.

To qualify for a non-adjudication, a petition for non-adjudication must be filed with the Court before conviction, and whether your case will be non-adjudicated is left to the discretion of the Court. If the Court permits the non-adjudication, the person will be ordered to pay a $250 fee, pay all fines for conviction, and complete an alcohol safety education program. After successfully completing the program, the person can continue driving if he or she installs an ignition interlock device on every vehicle driven by that person, obtains an interlock restricted license, and maintains it for 120 days. After the 120 days, the person must obtain proof from the interlock vendor that there were no violations of the interlock device during that time. After all of these conditions are satisfied, the court will enter an order of non-adjudication.  A DUI is the last thing you want, but if it happens, you’re really going to want that Mississippi ignition interlock in place.


Iowa IID Expansion Update

Iowa iid expansionEarlier this year, State Representatives introduced legislation that, among other things, would have required ignition interlock devices (IIDs) to remain on Iowa OWI offenders’ vehicles in cases of failed breath tests. The bill, which also would have required Iowa IIDs on the vehicles of all those convicted of operating while intoxicated, stalled in the Legislature. It was the fourth time since 2009 that Iowa lawmakers have proposed strengthening the state’s interlock laws.

Iowa’s ignition interlock laws allow certain people who have had their driver’s license revoked for an OWI (i.e., operating while intoxicated or drugged) to be eligible for a temporary restricted license if an Iowa IID is installed on all vehicles. The waiting time for the restricted license varies according to the driver’s record. This temporary restricted license allows you to drive only for specific reasons and at specific times, for:

  • Employment (work permit)
  • Health care for you or a dependent
  • Child care
  • Continuing education
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Court-ordered community service
  • Probation or parole appointments

The process Iowa is moving through shows a serious consideration for these all-important laws. Iowa fell short in several areas:

  • Not requiring all offenders convicted of drunken driving to install an ignition interlock device, which prevents a vehicle from starting if a driver has been drinking. All repeat offenders in Iowa are required to install the device. First-time offenders must install it only if they injure somebody or cause property damage.
  • Not conducting sobriety checkpoints, which are not authorized in Iowa.
  • Not having a way for law enforcement officers to obtain an expedited search warrant of a suspected drunken driver who refuses to take an alcohol breath test. The state received half a star for penalizing people who refuse to take the breath test.
  • Iowa hasn’t seen a significant change in its OWI laws in 21 years and as a result, Iowa doesn’t have the best practices in place. MADD wants states to require all drunk driving offenders to install ignition interlocks in their vehicles. Currently, 28 states require them for all offenders. Iowa requires the devices for repeat offenders but only some first-time offenders.

Contact your Iowa State lawmakers today to show your support for Iowa IID expansion!

A Texas Underage DWI Means a Family Ignition Interlock

Texas underage DWIZero-tolerance laws were introduced in the early 1980s in reaction to the high level of teenage drunk driving injuries and deaths across the country. Texas teenage DWI is taken seriously, and in response to federal financial incentives, all states now implement zero-tolerance laws. Zero-tolerance laws have two components. The first component is Illegal per se laws; per se means in and of itself. This means that if a minor under 21 years of age is caught driving with a negligible percentage of alcohol in his or her blood, they will be arrested for a DUI immediately.

Some states have different designations for drunk driving convictions below .08 BAC, the legal, per se, limit. In Texas, the different designation actually refers to an underage DWI, a serious crime on its own. To really drive home the point about Texas underage DWI, the state stands out from others in a unique way as well: ignition interlock requirements for Texas underage DWI convictions.

Minors who are convicted of Texas Underage DWI will:

  1. Receive a one-year driver license suspension
  2. Be required to complete a 12-hour class in an authorized Alcohol Education Program*.

*Failure to complete the Alcohol Education Program will result in an 180-daysuspension. Subsequent offenses may result in a one-year suspension.

A minor may also receive a 90-day driver’s license suspension if an interlock ignition device and community service are ordered by the presiding judge  (a special driver license must be issued to drive with an interlock ignition device). That means, parents, if your child is using your car as their own and they are convicted of a Texas underage DWI, your vehicle will likely end up with an IID. Remind your children of your unending sacrifices and that you’d much prefer bringing them home if they’re drinking than have an IID requirement that isn’t your own.

Will Oklahoma DUI Refusal Laws Get Tougher?

Oklahoma DUI refusal lawOklahoma’s DUI refusal laws are already pretty tough, and the state has a comprehensive ignition interlock device (IID) program for those with high BAC first-offense DUIs or multiple offenses. Now the state legislation may be increasing the penalties for violating implied consent laws, with a criminal charge on top of penalties already in place.

After you are arrested, the officer will tell you that you will lose your license if you refuse to take a sobriety test, if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test when suspected of drinking and driving, you’ll immediately receive a six-month driver’s license suspension and an 18-month ignition interlock requirement. Legally, the officer cannot make you take an Oklahoma breathalyzer unless you were involved in an accident where someone was seriously injured or killed.

Oklahoma DUI Refusal Consequences

  1. Your license will be suspended for six months unless you also have a previous DUI or APC conviction. If you do, then it will count as if this were your second refusal.
  2. One-year suspension of license.
  3. Three-year suspension of license. Refusal also results in 18-month ignition interlock requirement. This also refers to any combination of refusals and prior convictions that amount to three or more incidents.

Plus, you’ll have consequences for your DUI, if found guilty. For a first DUI in Oklahoma, you will go to jail for at least ten days, be fined up to $1,000, and will have to participate in an assessment program for substance abuse. This is more severe than having your license suspended.

Still, refusing the test does not guarantee that you won’t be convicted, you could be found guilty of a DUI even if your refusal means that the state does not have proof that your BAC was over .08 percent, the legal limit for those over 21. In fact, the prosecution can use your refusal against you by arguing that you refused the test because you knew that you were intoxicated and guilty of DUI.

Of course, we would love to see IID access expanded across the state in order to reap the benefits of tough DUI laws. Until then, additional penalties for refusing the breathalyzer may keep people from drinking and driving to begin with.