When Do I Need An Ignition Interlock Device?

If you’re asking yourself “When do I need an ignition interlock device? You’ve probably been convicted of DUI. If you were driving under the influence of drugs, you don’t qualify for an ignition interlock device. If you were driving under the influence of alcohol, you may be able to avoid getting an ignition interlock device if this was your first offense. It depends on the state you live in. some states require even first-time offenders to install an IID in order to regain full driving privileges.

But if this is your second or subsequent DUI, you will most definitely have to get an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. All 50 states have ignition interlock laws, which lay out the specifics on when you need an ignition interlock device.

Exemptions to Ignition Interlock Device Programs

Some states allow exceptions to the ignition interlock device requirements. Check with your DUI lawyer and your state to see if you qualify. Exemptions include:

Employer Exemption

If you drive a company vehicle as part of your job, your employer may fire you for getting a DUI. If you’re lucky and your employer keeps you on the payroll, they may reassign you to an office job for the duration of your ignition interlock device program. But in some states, as long as your employer is willing to let you drive their vehicle, you may be able to get what’s called an employer exemption. This means you don’t have to get an IID installed on the company vehicle.

If you are self-employed and drive a work truck or tractor-trailer that you own, you would still be required to get an IID installed on that vehicle. The exemption only applies to a vehicle you drive for work that is owned by the company.

Medical Exemption

Some people may qualify for a medical exemption, but these are few and far between. You might qualify for a medical exemption if you have some sort of lung disease that would prevent you from blowing forcefully enough into the device for your BAC to register. It would be pointless to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle if you couldn’t use it properly. In cases like this, the state might come up with another way to keep you from driving drunk.

Financial Hardship

Some states also include a financial hardship provision. Most people can take financial responsibility for the installation and maintenance costs of an ignition interlock device. To prove financial hardship, you would need to fill out a number of forms, provide bank statements and tax returns, and provide proof that you are indigent. Even then, while you might receive financial assistance in paying for the ignition interlock device, you would still have to get it installed on your vehicle.

Length of Time You Need to Have an IID Installed in Your Car

How long you have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle depends on your offense and your state. The more previous DUIs you have had, the longer you will have to have the IID installed. And not all states have the same time requirements. Depending on where you live, and if you are a first time offender or a repeat offender, you can expect to have the IID installed anywhere from six months to several years.

You cannot have the ignition interlock device removed until you have fulfilled all of the requirements of your state’s program. Once you have paperwork from the state saying you have completed the program, you can call us to schedule an appointment to get it removed. You will be financially responsible if the device is damaged in any way.

Program Violations Will Cost You

If you violate the terms of your ignition interlock device program, it will cost you. Program violations include failing the breath test a certain number of times, skipping a rolling retest, attempting to tamper with or remove the device, and more. The details will be spelled out in the paperwork the state provided you. Most states follow the violations list found in the Model Guidelines for State Ignition Interlock Programs from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Depending on your offense and the exact violation, your DMV/DOT can extend the length of time you have to have the IID installed before you can get full driving privileges back. The state can also totally kick you out of the program and make you serve the full license suspension period.

Schedule Ignition Interlock Device Installation

If you’ve been ordered to get an IID installed on your vehicle, help is just a phone call away. Call one of our service locations directly, or call ALCOLOCK at (866) 700-9300. Be sure you have all of the paperwork from the courts and the Department of Motor Vehicles when you call. That will speed things up as far as scheduling. We offer fast and affordable ignition interlock device installation and maintenance. Our goal is to get you back on the road as fast as possible.

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