DUI Ignition Interlock Device
A defendant's DUI penalty is based on many factors,
such as whether or not this is a first offense, the driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest
, or if an accident was caused as a result of driving while intoxicated.
The penalties for DUI may include jail time
, probation, alcohol evaluation and/or counseling, driver's license suspension, and community service. One other option is having an ignition interlock device installed in the driver's vehicle.
The purpose of the ignition interlock device is two fold; it allows the defendant to drive to necessary locations while ensuring that he or she doesn't operate the vehicle while under the influence.
The ignition interlock device is a small machine that is typically installed in the glove compartment on the passenger's side of the vehicle. It is wired into the engine's ignition system. The device is designed to measure the driver's BAC before the vehicle may start.
In order to start the vehicle, the driver must blow about 1.5 liters of air into the handheld unit, which is located on the car's dashboard. If the driver's BAC is over a preset limit (0.02 to 0.04 percent, depending on the state), the vehicle will not start.
In order to deter the driver from having a sober friend blow into the ignition interlock device, the driver must take 'rolling tests.' These tests occur at random intervals after the vehicle has been started. If the driver does not provide a breath sample, or his or her BAC is over the preset level, the device will issue a warning and the alarm will start. The alarm may consist of the lights flashing or the horn sounding until the ignition is turned off. Due to safety concerns, the ignition will not automatically shut down.
The cost of installation and maintenance for the ignition interlock device must be paid by the defendant. Monthly maintenance must be performed on the device. During maintenance, the data logs must be downloaded to ensure that the device was not tampered with. These logs also show whether a driver passed or failed the test and if he or she failed to take the random rolling test.
If you have a question about the ignition interlock device, contact a DUI defense attorney in your area today.
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