As far as the use of the ignition interlock device is concerned, it is mostly in the hands of the judge. In the event of a DUI charge and arrest, a judge may order an ignition interlock device if you have had more than one DUI conviction. In some states, if the BAC is more than 0.15%, the judge can put in the condition of an ignition interlock device.
What is an ignition interlock device?
An ignition interlock device is a machine that functions like a breathalyzer, but the device is connected to the car’s ignition. Once the device is installed, your vehicle will not start until you blow your breath into the device. If your breath is alcohol-free, the ignition will come on. The ignition interlock device comes with a preset BAC- usually 0.02%. If your BAC is 0.02% or above, your car will not start.
The idea behind the ignition interlock device is that anyone who has been drinking will not be able to start their car, hence preventing such drivers from getting on the road while they are under the influence. Today ignition interlock devices are employed by most states as a condition for license reinstatement. However, the laws on when the ignition interlock device should be installed and for how long it stays varies from state to state.
How long is an ignition interlock device installed for?
In most cases, the duration of the ignition interlock device depends on the laws of the state and case circumstance. If the driver is a repeat offender, had very high BAC levels and has been non-compliant with probationary rules, the ignition interlock device will remain in the vehicle for a long time. For example, the first DUI may come with a 3-6 month ignition interlock device but a driver with a second/third DUI conviction may have the device for 2-3 years.
Who pays for the ignition interlock device?
The cost of the ignition interlock device is the responsibility of the driver. The device is definitely not cheap, and the costs involved include:
- An installation fee that varies from $75-$150, depending on the make of your vehicle and where you get it installed. The Department of Motor Vehicles has approved installers in each different state.
- Once the device is installed, there is a monthly fee that the driver has to pay. This also ranges from $50-$200 and includes the cost leasing the device, maintenance, and submission of the BAC reports to the DMV and court.
- Once you have completed the probation, the device has to be taken out, and again, there is a removal fee that ranges from $75 to $150.
Can the ignition interlock device be disconnected?
The ignition interlock device is connected in such a way that any tampering will result in damage to your car’s ignition system. Also, without regular BAC reports, the courts will quickly find out that the system has been tampered with. You also cannot use another person’s breath sample on the device because it will ask you for rolling samples while you are driving. These rolling samples are ordered at preset times by the device, and if you have alcohol on your breath, the car horn will sound continuously, and the lights will flicker on and off, quickly alerting others including law enforcement.
Contact a DUI Lawyer at the Bateman Firm
If you were arrested for a DUI, you should contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible. This is not a charge that you should take lightly. If a judge has ordered an ignition interlock device for you, make sure you fulfill all the rules and regulations or else you could get in more trouble. For more information regarding a DUI charge, subsequent arrest and conviction and the different ways a DUI charge can be handled, please contact our Clemson DUI lawyer today. We understand that the average person does not know much about the legal system and how the process works if you are caught driving while under the influence. We are here to help you so that you can better deal with the legal aspect of things. Call us at 864-406-3004, and one of our DUI lawyers will be happy to assist you. You have to understand that in South Carolina, a DUI offense is a very big deal. And even if you made a mistake, there are legal issues that you need to deal with if you have been charged with a DUI. Call us now and let us help you.