What Happens If You Get An Ignition Interlock Violation?

If you’re reading this, you probably got convicted of DUI/DWI and now you’re required to get an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle. All 50 states and Washington DC have ignition interlock laws that spell out who has to get an IID installed after a DUI/DWI. Without exception, all state restricted driving programs spell out what happens if you get an ignition interlock violation.

You will want to read your paperwork from the DMV/DOT carefully, so you know what to expect if you break the rules. You can also find state-specific rules and regulations on the DMV/DOT website for your state. And finally, your ignition interlock technician will explain the various violations.

You should already know that an ignition interlock device is essentially an in-car breathalyzer, with a twist. The device is hooked into your car’s starter. You must blow into the device each time you want to start the vehicle. If the device detects alcohol on your breath, it will not let you start the car. If you blow a clean breath sample, you can start the car as you normally would.

Most states set the blood alcohol content (BAC) at which you would fail a test at .02-.025. You are also required to give random follow-up breath samples once you have started driving. These are called rolling retests.

Ignition Interlock Violations

While each state differs in who has to get an IID installed, what constitutes an ignition interlock violation is pretty standard across the country. That’s because states follow the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration guidelines for ignition interlock programs.

Before we discuss what happens if you get an ignition interlock violation, we have to lay out what a violation is. Ignition interlock violations under the guidelines include:

  • Failure to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
  • Driving any vehicle not equipped with an IID (unless you have an employer exemption)
  • Attempting to tamper with the device
  • Trying to remove the IID
  • Trying to circumvent the device (have someone else blow into the device for you)
  • Skipping a mandated service visit
  • Failing a startup breath test (state-specific BAC)
  • Failing or skipping a rolling retest (state-specific BAC for failing a test)
  • Failing to report a lockout
  • Not paying monthly service fees
  • And more, depending on your state

Penalties for an Ignition Interlock Violation

Again, each state has different penalties for an ignition interlock violation. Some penalties are more severe if your initial DUI/DWI involved a high BAC or someone was injured as a result of your drunk driving. Penalties the courts and DMV can impose may include:

  • Seizure of your vehicle if you do not install the IID as required
  • Permanent lockout from your vehicle, which may require that you get your vehicle towed to the service center where the technician unlocks the device
  • Extension of the length of time you have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle
  • Revocation of your restricted license and removal from the program
  • Reinstatement of the full suspension period with no driving privileges whatsoever
  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • And more

As you can see, an ignition interlock violation can have some pretty severe penalties. States want to make the penalties harsh enough that you will think twice, or even three times, before attempting to get behind the wheel after you’ve been drinking.

The good news is, if you follow the rules, you can finish your restricted driving period with no extensions and no penalties. Once you’re finished, you can apply for reinstatement of your regular driver’s license. Once you have that, the state authorizes us to remove the ignition interlock device from your vehicle.

Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation

If you need to get an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, ALCOLOCK can help. We have service centers around the country, and we provide fast and affordable ignition interlock device installation. You can call the service center nearest you to schedule an installation appointment, or you can call ALCOLOCK at (866) 700-9300.

In most cases, we can install your device within 48 hours of your call. Be sure to have your paperwork with you when you make the appointment, so we can easily verify your eligibility for your state’s IID program. And remember, you will need to have someone drive you to your installation appointment.

Plan for your appointment lasting an hour. That time includes the actual installation of the device, as well as calibrating it to you, specifically, and training you on how to use your new ignition interlock device. Your technician will also schedule your first maintenance visit.

At ALCOLOCK, our goal is to get you back on the road quickly. Follow all the rules, and you will be able to regain unrestricted driving privileges without any bumps in the road.

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