Being charged with DUI may impact your ability to do one thing most people take for granted, drive a vehicle. The law uses a number of methods to ensure that those accused of and convicted of DUI charges drive only when sober. One way to do that is by using a special device called an ignition interlock device. To find out what this device does and how it can impact you, read on.
Breathalyzer on Wheels
These devices are attached by a mechanic to the ignition system on your vehicle. For the vehicle to start, you must blow into a tube attached to the ignition. If your breath registers any alcohol whatsoever, the vehicle simply won't start. Most people arrested for DUI have already experienced a breathalyzer. Portable breathalyzers are used during roadside sobriety checks and larger units are used at police stations as part of the booking process.
When Alcohol is Detected
If you are stopped on suspicions of DUI, you must blow below .08% or you can be arrested for DUI. With an ignition interlock device, however, you should never have any detectable alcohol on your expelled breath or the vehicle won't start. Not only can you be stuck at home or elsewhere with a useless vehicle, but authorities such as your probation officer and others may be informed of the incident. Here is what else to know about ignition interlock devices:
- While inconvenient, these devices allow some DUI offenders to go to work and other places after an arrest. Many offenders lose their driving privileges entirely.
- Using such a device is not a given. Your DUI defense lawyer must ask for this and you must also be approved for a hardship driver's license that is good for driving only at certain times and places.
- Not only will vehicles not start with measurable alcohol on your breath, but you must also keep using the device periodically as you drive.
- Having the ignition interlock device installed is costly and so is the ongoing monitoring cost.
- You may also have a dash camera installed along with the device to verify your identity each time you blow.
It should be emphasized that this device is an alternative to not driving at all and is a privilege not afforded to everyone. Having a DUI attorney to help you through the DUI process is key. DUI arrests don't have to turn into a conviction, and the difference can be worth thousands of dollars and a load of stress. Speak to a lawyer today.