Ignition interlock devices are small, compact pieces of machinery that allow drunk driving offenders an opportunity to stay behind the wheel. Often, after serving jail time, paying fines, and enduring a driver’s license suspension or revocation, drivers convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) are allowed to begin driving, again, under certain conditions. While those conditions vary from state to state, most restricted driving periods require the use of an ignition interlock device, especially for repeat offenders.
Violating ignition interlock restrictions comes with its own set of consequences. Choices that generally constitute a violation include tampering with the device, driving a vehicle without the device installed, and having a person other than the driver blow into the ignition interlock device. Since the point of being ordered to install the device is to keep offenders from engaging in more of the same risky behavior that resulted in a criminal conviction, choosing to violate the rules of the ignition interlock program is considered a violation of the law.
While the consequences for violating ignition interlock restrictions vary, there are some assumptions a person who chooses to go this route can make. First of all, the violation will likely automatically result in either a misdemeanor or felony charge. The violator may also lose driving privileges for an even longer period of time, since no respect was shown for the opportunity to keep driving after being convicted of a DUI. When the individual is allowed to begin driving again after serving the sentence attached to the ignition interlock device violation, the offender will generally have to use the device for an even longer period of time.
Violating ignition interlock restrictions may also result in jail time and most states impose fines, regardless of other penalties. In addition to what happens to the offender caught violating the restrictions, many states have laws that also penalize the owner of the vehicle the violator was driving when caught and anyone else found responsible for assisting an offender violate the rules of the program. The punishments vary, but in states that hold accountable people who might be considered accomplices, a misdemeanor charge is on the list of penalties.
Being ordered to use an ignition interlock device has both negative and positive connotations, but it is better to focus upon the good. It is a privilege to be able to continue driving after being convicted of a DUI, so penalties should not be taken lightly. Violating ignition interlock requirements demonstrates an inability to control one’s self, forcing society to treat the offender as a danger. The best thing to do when ordered to use the device is to follow the directions and before you know it, the restriction will be lifted.