When you’re at a bar, you rely on your server and bartender to keep your drink full. They may also be the person who tells you when you’ve had enough, so that you don’t get out on the road and risk a DUI. With all that your bartender and server do to keep you and your friends happy throughout your time at the bar, could they also be the hammer that comes down if you do DUI? Can a bar owner, manager or employee order you to install a car breathalyzer?
No. But imagine the safety of our streets if that were the case!
Seriously, there are only three entities that can order you to install a car breathalyzer, none of which are also the same place that hands you a cocktail or your favorite beer:
- Federal or state courts: according to where your DUI happened, you will either have a trial in a federal or state courtroom, and will be sentenced according to those laws and guidelines, including a possible car breathalyzer requirement.
- DMV or your driver’s license agency: If you are arrested for a DUI, your license may be immediately suspended by the DMV (administrative license suspension/revocation). In many states, you’ll need a car breathalyzer to restore your driving privileges.
- Your parent or the owner of the car you drive. This one is a bit tricky, since not everyone owns the vehicle they drive, but there is a court-order to only drive an interlock-equipped car. The owner of the car you drive can install the device voluntarily, too, making your private compliance a factor in your freedom.
While it could cut down on the legal process and take the burden off of parents, there’s no way a bar, tavern, restaurant or café owner/manager/employee can order a you to install a car breathalyzer. They can, however, take your intoxicated actions seriously and find you a safe ride home, keeping the reality of an ignition interlock as far from you as possible.