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Understanding ignition interlock devices

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2022 | DUI Questions |

One common consequence of a conviction for drunk driving is the required installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on all of your vehicles in order to be able to drive legally for at least a year.

Under Wisconsin law, an IID is required for all repeat offenses and even for first-time offenses if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .15% or greater. It’s also required for anyone who refuses to take a breath test or give a blood sample if they’re suspected of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI).

An IID is basically a Breathalyzer-type device that connects to your vehicle’s ignition. You need to blow into it and have a BAC of no more than .02% for the vehicle to start. The device also requires drivers to blow into it when prompted as they’re driving to ensure that they didn’t begin drinking after they started the car.

Understanding the year-long requirement

The year with this device is required whenever you choose to begin driving again. In other words, you can’t just “wait out” the year, getting rides from family and friends and using ride-sharing apps. The “clock” starts on the IID requirement whenever you begin driving again.

While an IID can be inconvenient and embarrassing. However, it beats the consequences you would face if you drive without getting your license back. It’s also important to remember that if you try to remove, tamper with or “cheat” the IID, you’ll end up having to use the IID for an additional six months.

An IID requires care – especially when the temperatures drop

It’s important to recognize that an IID, like any piece of equipment, can malfunction. It’s dependent on your car’s battery, so it’s important to keep that charged. Wisconsin winters can be hard on IIDs as well, so you need to take precautions when the temperatures plummet.

An IID is just one consequence of a drunk driving conviction. If you’re arrested for drunk driving, don’t assume that a conviction is imminent. You have every right to question the evidence against you and present a defense. Having sound legal guidance can help you protect your rights and work toward the best possible outcome.