Thursday, June 20, 2024

Opinion Article: The Consequences of Ignoring Ignition Interlock Devices for DUI Offenders

DUI offenses have serious consequences, including losing a driver's license, paying hefty fines, or going to jail. However, one of the most effective ways to prevent drunk driving accidents and repeat DUI offenses is the ignition interlock device (IID). While some people may view IID as a punishment or an inconvenience, I believe it is an essential tool to protect the public from DUI offenders who pose a significant risk to others' safety on the road.

When Are You Required to Install an IID?

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer installed in a vehicle's dashboard, connected to the ignition system. To start the vehicle, the driver has to provide a breath sample, and if the device detects a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the limit set by the state, the engine won't start. Depending on the state's laws and the specifics of the case, a DUI offender may be required to install an IID as a condition of getting their license back or reducing the punishment for their offense.

How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?

The main purpose of the IID is to prevent the driver from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. However, the device has other features that ensure its accuracy and reliability. For example, it takes photos of the driver providing the breath sample to prevent someone else from taking the test on their behalf.

What are the Penalties for Tampering With an IID?

Some DUI offenders may try to circumvent the IID by asking someone else to provide a clean breath sample or by tampering with the device itself. This behavior is illegal and has severe consequences, such as extending the IID requirement or revoking the driver's license altogether. Additionally, the offender may face criminal charges for fraud or deception.

What is an Aggravated DUI Charge?

In some cases, a DUI offense may lead to an aggravated DUI charge, which typically involves aggravating factors such as causing an accident resulting in death or injury, having multiple DUI convictions, or driving with a suspended license. An aggravated DUI charge carries more severe penalties, including longer IID requirements, longer license suspension, and mandatory jail time.

What are the Penalties For a DUI with an IID?

The penalties for a DUI with an IID depend on the state's laws and court's discretion, but they usually involve longer license suspension, payment of IID installation and maintenance fees, and possible jail time or community service. However, the use of IID also has some benefits for the DUI offender, such as the possibility of reducing the mandatory license suspension period or getting driving privileges earlier than without the IID.

How Can an Attorney Argue For My Defense?

If you are facing DUI charges or the requirement to install an IID, it's essential to have a competent and experienced attorney by your side. A skilled attorney can evaluate your case's specifics, develop a defense strategy, and negotiate with the prosecution to reduce the charges or the penalties. They can also help you understand the importance of the IID and how to use it correctly to avoid further legal problems.


In summary, ignition interlock devices are an effective way to prevent drunk driving accidents and reduce repeat DUI offenders' recidivism. While some people may view the IID as a punishment or an inconvenience, it is a necessary measure to protect the public from dangerous drivers. If you are facing DUI charges, it's essential to take the IID requirement seriously and to seek legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected.