Ignition Interlock Penalties

bigstock-Traffic-Stop-5094593In an effort to combat drunk drivers many states have imposed ignition interlock regulations for people with DUI/DWI offenses. Ignition interlock devices require that a person is able to pass a breathalyzer test in order to start and continue to operate a vehicle. If a person with an IID requirement does not pass the breath test he or she will be unable to start the vehicle and will need to wait a short period of time before attempting to drive. Additionally, an IID will require a “rolling” re-test, to ensure that the person driving the vehicle is sober, and has not attempted to circumvent the device upon starting the vehicle. Right now Ignition Interlock regulations are state laws, so the rules associated with them vary slightly from state to state.

For example, in the state of Maryland, a DUI offender has 30 days to have the ignition interlock installed. Failure to do so can lead to having the offender’s license suspended. Offenders who are caught violating their IID sentence may also have their sentence extended, or the ability to drive revoked entirely. The ignition interlock device records how many times the vehicle is started, and if there is an unusually low record of use, the offender must submit an explanation of how she or he has been getting around. This is to discourage driving other vehicles that do not have the ignition interlock device.

In Minnesota, IID violations include tampering with the ignition interlock device, operating a vehicle not equipped with the ignition interlock device, violation of the limited license, failure to provide at least 30 breath tests a month, and three failures to take a rolling re-test within a week. For the first IID violation, 180 days are added to your sentence. For the second violation an additional year of IID compliance is added. And for the third violation an additional 545 days are added to the violator’s sentence.

Ignition interlock systems are installed in the vehicles of those convicted of alcohol-related traffic violations for a reason. These devices help to reduce rates of alcohol related accidents, injuries and even deaths. They are taken very seriously by the states that impose them, and, more states are introducing IID penalties into their fight against drunk drivers, in addition to other DUI/DWI consequences. The penalties for not complying with an ignition interlock sentence certainly vary from state to state, but, by having the requirement, an offender’s best choice is to comply with the regulations.

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