States across the nation are taking drunk driving more seriously than ever. According the National Conference of State Legislatures, currently, all 50 states have some sort of ignition interlock law on the books. So yes, all 50 states require you to install an ignition interlock device after a DUI. The circumstances of when they require that differ by state.
Mandatory Ignition Interlock Device for ALL DUI Offenses
Twenty-nine states, as well as the District of Columbia have mandatory ignition interlock requirements for all DUI convictions, including a first offense.
Those states include:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- Washington DC
- West Virginia
In addition, California’s four largest counties have a pilot program requiring first time offenders to install an IID in their vehicles. This includes Alameda County, Los Angeles County, Sacramento County, and Tulare County. In Colorado and Maine, it’s not mandatory to have an ignition interlock device installed after a first DUI conviction, yet both states provide incentives for first time offenders to get an ignition interlock device.
Now just because your state law may not require you to install an ignition interlock device after a first offense DUI conviction, that doesn’t mean that the judge in your case won’t order you to do so. The judge has discretion in these cases, and may order you to install the device if your blood alcohol content reaches a certain level
Other states make it discretionary for a judge to order an ignition interlock device for a first offense DUI conviction, but then most states make an interlock device mandatory for a second offense, or as part of a restricted license program.
For specifics on your state law, visit the National Council of State Legislatures.
Ignition Interlock Exemptions
Many states offer certain exemptions to the ignition interlock device requirements. We address some of those here.
What If I Can’t Afford an Interlock Device?
Some states have exemptions for financial hardship, and other states have programs to help people who are unemployed or otherwise financially incapable of paying for the interlock device. If you think an IID will be a financial hardship, your DUI lawyer or public defender can offer you advice on your options.
What If I Drive a Company Car or Van During Work Hours?
Many states provide for an employer exemption, which requires additional paperwork. If your employer is willing to trust you with their company owned vehicle, but does not want to have an IID installed on a company vehicle, you and your employer must fill out the required paperwork. You may wish to consult with your DUI lawyer and your employer in this regard.
Where Can I Get an Ignition Interlock Device Installed?
ALCOLOCK installs ignition interlock devices across the country. You can search our locations to find the most convenient location for you before setting up an appointment. In most cases, if we operate in your state, we can install the interlock device within 48 hours of confirming your eligibility for the program.
Installation of an ignition interlock device is a pretty simple process that we can do on nearly every vehicle built after 1955. The system hooks into your vehicle’s electrical system at the starter, and the handheld unit is calibrated to your state’s specifications. Our technician will teach you how to use the device, and explain what all of the sounds and message displays mean.
An ignition interlock device will keep you from starting your car if you blow over the limit designated by your state, but the device will never cut off your engine if you do a rolling retest and fail the test. We don’t advise blowing into the device while you are actively driving. Pulling over to the side of the road for a required retest is the best option.
By law, you are required to have your technician check your device monthly, and recalibrate the device as necessary. At this visit, the data from your IID will be uploaded to the agency monitoring your progress in the program. For your convenience, your device will send you appointment reminders. If you miss a maintenance appointment, call right away to reschedule. If you go 5-7 days past your missed appointment, your ignition interlock device is programmed to enter lockout mode. The only way to get it unlocked is to get your vehicle towed to a service center.
We’re With You On the Way Back
ALCOLOCK is with you every step of the way. Our ignition interlock devices make it easy for you to comply the requirements of your DUI/DWI restricted driving program. We want you to succeed in getting back your driver’s license and ear back full driving privileges. Call 866-700-9300 with questions, or use our contact form to schedule an installation.