New Ignition Interlock Device laws that took effect January 1, 2021 are strict for a first offense DUI, requiring a convicted first-time offender to install a car breathalyzer system on any vehicle they drive (including work vehicles) for an average minimum of 6 months length of time.
Driving under the influence of alcohol has serious consequences, beyond the worst case scenario of injuring or killing another person. For this reason, first DUI, DWI penalties in every state now mandate use of an interlock device upon a 1st offense conviction or guilty plea.
Intoxicated drivers who manage to avoid accidents are still easy targets for police officers to arrest, even in many cases with little evidence to prove DUI. For example, this is especially true now more than ever, since Marijuana legalization in many states has made it even easier for police to charge drivers with a suspected DUI offense, for something as innocuous or trivial as having watery eyes. After a first offense DUI conviction today, it is now now required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in any vehicle driven by a DUI offender.
In many states after a 1st time DUI arrest happens and even while the case is still pending in court, installing an interlock system is a condition of bond by the court unless a lawyer is able to find an immediate defense to prevent it.
How long do I need to have an ignition interlock?
Will I have to get an ignition interlock device installed for a first DUI, DWI offense? Under July 2021 ignition interlock laws in every state, the local DMV will require a person to install an ignition interlock device after a first DUI conviction for an average minimum length of 6 months time.
2 important legal facts every driver should know about the interlock device length of time and device cost requirements today are:
- If a person were to get convicted of a second offense DUI within the next 10 years of the 1st offense, a repeat DUI, DWI offender will be required to have an interlock installed for 2 years.
- The overall average interlock device price of $1,800 covers a variety of things that includes the IID itself, a camera unit if required, mouthpieces, installation, removal, calibrations, reporting, device maintenance and other common interlock fee factors. The $1,800 price is the collective total average IID costs to expect after 6 months of use. A driver does not have to pay that entire interlock cost upfront, but should be aware of what the total monthly fees will add up to by the time the interlock device is removed after a first DUI offense.
In order to have the best chances at getting out of the interlock device requirement, a person should not wait on utilizing their best IID defense options, since many top legal strategies are time-sensitive in order to work today. Expert free legal help is also locally available to help avoid an interlock device after a 1st DUI happens, in cases when a person cannot afford a DUI lawyer due to lack of employment or other financial situations.
Ignition Interlock Requirements to Expect for a First DUI, DWI Offense Conviction:
- The length of time a person is required to have an interlock device installed after a first DUI, DWI conviction will not officially begin until an individual goes to the local DMV to have them reinstate a license, or issue a restricted hardship license.
- A person must have the interlock installed on a vehicle for the entire period of time an IID was ordered by the court.
- Any driver convicted of DUI, DWI will not receive credit by the court for having an interlock installed when a license is currently suspended, expired, or otherwise not legally valid.
- Hardship, restricted, and temporary interlock licenses can all be revoked immediately when a convicted DUI offender is caught driving any vehicle that does not have a car breathalyzer device installed.
- Any current license to drive will be cancelled by the state DMV if a person does not comply with all the conditions required by the court for the DUI blowing device interlock.
- Only the specific person convicted of DUI and ordered to use an interlock device is responsible for the BAC level recorded on the IID when the machine prompts a driver for a breath test sample. This means if someone else blows into the interlock and the device detects alcohol, the DUI defendant required to use the IID in the first place will face the legal consequences of failed car breath test results caused by the other individual blowing into the interlock.
An interlock works like a breathalyzer device and is installed in the dashboard or console of a motor vehicle. The driver exhales into the IID before starting the car motor. If the measured blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) falls below the programmed BAC threshold, the motor will start. If measured BAC exceeds the preset BAC threshold, the ignition interlock system prevents the engine from starting by interrupting the signal sent from the vehicle ignition to the starter.
How long a driver will have to install the Ignition Interlock device for a DUI, DWI charge can vary for each defendant’s own arrest circumstances, but typically a minimum of 6 months length of time can be expected for 1st offenders. When expert legal help is obtained early on after a DUI happens, there are legal defenses that work to implement ways how to get out of ignition interlock installation and avoid the cost of the IID requirement. However, when a DUI defendant misses their short window of time to fight and get around ignition interlock device installation, the average mandatory length of time the IID will be required is between 6 months up to one year upon a first offense drunk driving conviction.
Ignition interlock drivers who are able to provide valid breath samples below the BAC threshold are not out of the woods. The IID requires additional breath samples at random intervals while the car engine is on. This prevents another individual from breathing into the device, and most interlock systems today have a built in camera for this reason to monitor who is actually blowing into the machine.
If a breath sample is not provided upon request of the interlock or the sample exceeds the BAC threshold, the device emits a warning and alarm until the vehicle ignition is turned off or an acceptable breath sample is provided. Each missed breath test or excessive BAC sample is logged by the IID for retrieval by law enforcement. Due to the complications and unintentional IID violations that can easily happen, every driver today should know what happens for your first DUI offense so the ignition interlock requirement can be avoided while there is still time to fight it.
Ignition interlock for DUI offenders is now a requirement in: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
The determining factor for interlock duration regarding how long the device will be installed is if a defendant gets convicted of a first DUI, DWI offense in court, or subsequently convicted as a second or more repeat offender.
Every state has some type of ignition interlock law today, with 31 states having mandatory IID provisions for first time DUI offenses. Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends it for first offenders, some states do not require this car Breathalyzer installation for a first DUI or DWI offense conviction, but do give judges discretion to still impose this ignition interlock penalty. Several states impose stricter IID installation mandates for underage drinkers convicted of DUI charges.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving is one of several groups lobbying for mandatory Ignition Interlocks installation following an initial DUI conviction in any state. Some U.S. politicians support IIDs as standard features of motor vehicles. If they are successful in the near future, every car sold in the U.S. may someday have an ignition interlock device installed in the dashboard or driver’s console.
DUI, DWI laws in the state where the incident occurred determine whether IID installation is required for a first-time offender. Individuals charged with this offense should discuss their cases with DUI attorneys to find out if potential penalties include installation of IIDs, and legal defenses for ways how to avoid the car breathalyzer device in time. In most states under new 2021 DUI sentencing laws, the Ignition Interlock device installation is an alternative to first DUI license suspension length of time ranging on average of 6 months to 2 years.
Does the court require you to have interlock after probation is over? Yes, in most first offense DUI, DWI cases after probation has ended, and a person has not yet completed the ignition interlock program to drive with a restricted license for work or school, an interlock device will be required to legally drive again.
If a person has been convicted of driving under the influence with a BAC over .08, or a breath/blood test refusal offense, you will have to participate in the Interlock program, in order to get your driver’s license back or as a condition of getting a restricted hardship license. The IID program is designed as both a costly DUI consequence and opportunity for an individual to get a license earlier by having this car Breathalyzer device wired into the ignition of any vehicle they will drive (including work or company car).
An IID works much like a Breathalyzer test machine does. IID drivers are supposed to blow into the device before starting their vehicle, as well as submitting breath samples to the Interlock device while driving (every 15-30 mins) on average. Throughout the entire time period an IID is installed, a driver will be also required to have the device routinely maintained by a certified technician every 1 to 2 months.
Drivers facing their first DUI or DWI offense, who participate in the IID Program, will be expected to have to get the Interlock device installed in their vehicle for 1 year on average if convicted of the charge.
Besides the higher car insurance rates for 5 years after a guilty plea or conviction, first offense DUI drivers must also pay fines that start at $1,300 in most states. If a DUI, DWI case is still pending in court, many drivers may have ideal defenses and alternate options to using the ignition interlock device than they are even aware of under ever-changing new July 2021 IID laws.
Drivers that need to install the Ignition Interlock device can expect to pay the following costs:
- Average $160 installation fee
- Monthly $32 administration fee
- Daily monitoring charge approx. $3.50
- $60 fee to remove the interlock at the end of the required installation time period
- Additional fines will also apply if the interlock device records any violations
People delude themselves in many cases, assuming the total interlock cost in July 2021 won’t be as high for their own DUI case since it was for a first time offense. This false assumption is when mistakes happen by losing a valuable window of time finding an ideal interlock defense that works to get out of using the device, before the breath machine payments start to add up fast.
Every driver who makes that error regarding IID fees, inevitably learns that assuming the total price of an interlock device “won’t happen to me,” was literally a costly mistake. This is because for each person who has to get a car breathalyzer installed, much of the interlock fees for the interlock device are set by the IID company and installer. The monthly payments for the car breathalyzer machine are entirely separate bills from the DUI, DWI court fines, which is why the interlock costs are often inflated and price-range for the device can greatly vary between IID companies and installers.
These total IID price facts are why it is so imperative to know early on how much the ignition interlock device will cost today for a DUI first offense. The only chances to prevent the total mandatory expensive consequences of the interlock requirement, is to utilize winning interlock defenses with an arrest-specific strategy while there is still time to act and avoid the ultimate price of using an interlock device.
What if I can’t afford Lifesaver, Intoxalock, or other top DUI blowing device? Many leading ignition interlock companies offer financial aid to first DUI offenders in most states. The lower installation cost of the IID is often determined by a person’s current income or other related factors such as medical issues, that can offset typical fees for installing an ignition interlock device after a DUI, DWI conviction.
For immediate free legal help with IID cost concerns, a DUI defendant who cannot afford an interlock device can contact us 24/7 to find out how an ignition interlock expert can get you the lowest IID price available nearest your location. Some first time DUI offenders may even qualify for an interlock exemption or IID alternatives in certain cases and when other financial considerations may apply.
IID Defenses to Avoid Mandatory 6 Months Time Using Ignition Interlock Device After a 1st Offense DUI, DWI
In most first offense cases after a DUI or DWI, a driver can expect to have an ignition interlock device installed for six months period instead of mandatory license suspension that happens. However, there are legal ways to get around ignition interlock punishment for a 1st DUI offense, when pinpointing the best defense based upon each driver’s own charge details can be implemented in time before court. We help drivers prevent having to install the expensive and intrusive ignition interlock device in their car, when we can review the arrest early enough and avoid a first DUI offense conviction from ever happening.
While reviewing an arrest online, we will evaluate your chances of success getting out of an ignition interlock requirement and will also assess the possibility of alternate solutions to avoid using the car breath test device. An arrest review in time will provide drivers legal defense strategies that rigorously make sure the police and prosecutor’s work is challenged to minimize the chances of having to get the ignition interlock device installed after a first offense DUI, DWI charge.
Only a complete review and analysis of the evidence in your arrest, including the police report and your version of events, will allow our expert ignition interlock lawyers free legal advice to suggest and recommend a tailor-made approach for you. Rest assured, your arrest will be examined meticulously to help avoid the costly time an ignition interlock is required under July 2021 IID laws after a first DUI, DWI offense.
The greatest odds getting out of ignition interlock device for a 1st time offense today in July/August 2021 is mostly dependent on how soon a driver gets expert legal help to fight IID installation due to police procedure mistakes or other ticket and paperwork errors found after an arrest review.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.