Ignition interlock devices: What you should know

DUI charges come with serious consequences, including heavy fines and driver’s license revocation. In some cases, you may be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. Although this device may be costly, it may allow you use your vehicle for transportation to school, work, doctors’ appointments and other necessary destinations. If you are asked to install an ignition interlock device on your motorcycle or vehicle, it helps to know how these machines work.

Interlock devices are small breath test machines that are wired directly to the vehicle’s ignition system. Before your vehicle will start, you must exhale into a tube that is connected to the device. The machine will then evaluate your blood alcohol content level, and if it below the preset limit, the vehicle will start. IIDs also require the driver to submit additional samples occasionally throughout the drive. If at any time, the device reads a sample that is above the BAC level limit, it will lockup. You must then wait for a certain period of time before the device will let you attempt a restart.

According to Kentucky statutes, you must use an IID for at least six months if you have received one DUI violation within five years. If you have received two violations in that time, you must use an IID for 12 months. Three violations within a five-year period requires the offender to use the machine for 30 months. Once installed, you must have the IID serviced every 30 days to ensure the device is working correctly.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice. 

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