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What you should know if you get an ignition interlock device

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2023 | Firm News

Over the years, Alabama has enacted increasingly harsh laws regarding drunk driving. Some first-time DUI convictions and all repeat convictions now require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on a vehicle before an offender will be permitted to drive on a restricted license. An IID can also be installed as part of a pretrial diversion program that allows people to have their DUI charge dropped.

Those are big changes since Alabama became the final state in the U.S. to require IIDs back in 2012. So, what should you know about having an IID in your vehicle?

How an IID works

An IID is a Breathalyzer-type device that connects to the ignition of a vehicle. A driver has to blow into it to show that they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of under .02% before the vehicle will start. Drivers must also do “rolling retests” periodically while the vehicle is running to prove that they didn’t start drinking once they got the car started.

Having an IID in your vehicle might cause you some embarrassment and inconvenience. However, if it’s the only way you can legally drive, it’s better than risking being arrested for driving on a suspended license and adding to your legal problems.

How to avoid IID violations

It’s crucial to fully comply with the rules and restrictions that come with having an IID. For example, “tampering, circumvention, or bypassing of the ignition interlock device, or attempt thereof” is against the law. So is “failure to comply with the servicing or calibration requirements of the ignition interlock device every 30 days.”

It’s important to take care of your IID and understand what could cause it to malfunction. For example, you’ll want to make sure that your car’s battery is in good shape and not let it run down. Anything that causes the IID to report an error can mean more money and time to get it repaired and to assure those monitoring your IID that you didn’t tamper with it.

Certainly, if you’re wrongfully accused of DUI or the evidence against you is questionable, your first goal should be to get the charges dropped. If that’s not an option and you’re facing consequences that involve an IID, it’s crucial to understand how to get through this period successfully and move on with your life. Getting sound legal guidance is always your best first step.