Unfortunately, Montana has one of the highest highest drunk driving fatality rates in the country based on the number of deaths caused by impaired drivers per vehicle mile traveled. And according to the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT), in 2017, 61% of all traffic fatalities were due to drunk drivers. The state is actively trying to reduce the number of drunk driving fatalities and serious injuries.
Montana DUI Laws and Penalties
As with the rest of the states, in Montana, you can be charged with drunk driving, or DUI, if your blood alcohol content is .08 or higher. If you’re a commercial driver, that level falls to .04. And of course, if you’re under 21, no amount of alcohol in your system is legal.
According to the state’s summary of Montana DUI laws, If you refuse to take a breath test or other chemical test, a law enforcement officer will seize your driver’s license on the spot. The state will suspend your license for 6 months for a first refusal and one year for a second refusal. restricted probationary license. Applying for a restricted probationary license during your suspension is what allows you to get an ignition interlock device installed to you can begin driving again.
The following is a summary of penalties for DUI an average BAC. An excessive BAC will result in stiffer penalties.
First DUI Offense
In the state of Montana, your first DUI conviction can carry some steep penalties. They include:
- Fines from $600 to $1,000
- License Suspension of a minimum of six months
- Jail time of a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of six months depending on your BAC level
- Ignition interlock device (IID) installation is required. The length of time will be based on your individual circumstances
Second DUI Offense
For a second DUI offense, the penalties understandably increase. You may face the following penalties if you’re convicted:
- Fines from $1,200 to $2,000
- License suspension of a minimum of one year with an automatic suspension if you refuse to take the BAC test
- Jail or prison time lasting from two weeks to 12 months
- Ignition interlock device installation will be required for a period of time to be decided by the courts
Third DUI Offense
Penalties increase exponentially for a third DUI conviction in Montana. Here’s what you could face if convicted:
- Fines ranging from $5,000 to $10,000
- License suspension for a minimum of one year with an automatic suspension if you refuse to take the BAC test
- Imprisonment from 60 days to a year
- Ignition interlock device installation will be required for a period of time to be decided by the courts if you’re allowed to return to driving with a restricted license
Penalties for each offense increase with a higher BAC, and if anyone is injured or killed as a result of your drunk driving.In addition, if you have an excessive BAC, you may be required to undergo a chemical dependency assessment, alcohol abuse treatment, or both.
Ignition Interlock Device Requirements in Montana
Montana law requires you to have an ignition interlock device installation if you’ve been convicted of a DUI. Montana residents will have to apply for a hardship license stating that they can’t serve out their license suspension because not driving would cause undue hardship. Once you get your hardship license, Montana laws also require you to have the installation completed by a state-approved vendor, and you must use, maintain, and schedule regular upkeep on your device until your license is no longer restricted.
Failure to install the IID as required or tampering with the device will result in criminal charges, punishable with a fine of not more than $500, jail time of up to 6 months, or both.
What to Expect at Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation Appointment
Once you have the paperwork from the state saying you are eligible for a restricted probationary license and need to get an ignition interlock device installed, you can call to set up your installation appointment. On your appointment day, you can expect to spend one hour at the service location. This time will include the actual installation of the device, and training you in how to properly use it. We will also set up your first monthly maintenance visit at that time.
Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation
You can call Clean Start of Montana at 800-820-4637 to schedule your ignition interlock device installation. You can also use our contact form, and someone will get back to you shortly.