If you’ve been convicted of a DUI/DWI or you refused the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, chances are good that the courts or the DMV now require you to get an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle. In most states. it’s the only way you can drive. It’s also the only way you can earn full driving privileges back.
All 50 states and Washington D.C. have ignition interlock laws. The majority of those laws apply the interlock requirement even to first offenders. So the short answer is, no, you can not get out of the interlock device requirement.
But, and there is almost always a but, a few states do have a couple of exemptions to the interlock requirement. Those include:
Not every state has this exemption, but if you feel you qualify, you should work with your DUI lawyer and the DMV or court system. The state may grant you a medical exemption if you can provide medical documentation that you have a medical condition that would prevent you from being able to use the device properly, and safely.
This might be the case if you have decreased lung capacity from lung cancer, COPD, emphysema, etc. You would need to get your medical provider to fill out and sign a form like this one from Washington State. Such forms indicate they have examined you and you have a physical disability that would prevent you from using an IID. They will likely administer a medical lung capacity test before signing any form. In general, to properly operate an IID, you must be able to provide a minimum sustained breath sample of 1500 ml.
Many states have an employer exemption. This may apply if you drive a company vehicle as part of your job. If your employer wants to let you continue to do so, but they don’t want to install an IID, they must sign a form stating they are aware of your DUI and your restricted driving status, but they give you permission to drive the company vehicle.
If you get this exemption, you must carry the paperwork with you at all times. You can only drive for work, no exceptions. You must drive your own IID-equipped vehicle to and from work, and for any personal business. Failure to comply with these rules can result in penalties.
Employers may require you to install an IID in their company vehicle, in order for you to continue to drive it. This would be at your expense.
Only a few states have this exemption, and it just means that if you don’t have a car, you don’t have to install an IID. However, you cannot drive any borrowed or leased vehicle unless it is equipped with an interlock device. And if you buy a car, you will have to get the device installed.
If you have a financial hardship but you do have a car, or share one, you would still have to get an IID installed. Many states with this exemption have funds set aside to help cover the cost of the installation and service visits. Generally, you must be receiving government assistance to meet the definition of financial hardship.
Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation
ALCOLOCK™ ignition interlock device installation is easy and affordable. We know you want to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible, and we are here to help. We have service locations across the country to serve you. Just call the service center most convenient to you to schedule your IID installation appointment. Or call ALCOLOCK™ directly at (866) 700-9300 and we will help you get scheduled.
Plan on having someone drive you and your vehicle to your appointment. If another person will be driving your car while the device is installed, they should come to the installation appointment as well. Once the technician installs the interlock device and trains you and any other driver how to use it, you will schedule your first service visit. Then, you are free to drive, according to the rules laid out in your restricted driving program. The entire appointment should take about an hour.
Before you leave, we’ll schedule your first service visit. State law requires these visits, and they will last about 20 minutes. Depending on the state you live in, you will need to come in for regular visits every 30-60 days. Your restricted driving program documents will detail all of that, and your technician can answer most of your questions as well.