DC DUI Ignition Interlock

To prevent drivers from committing multiple alcohol-related offenses, a court may require a person to use an ignition interlock device. A DC DUI ignition interlock device is a type of Breathalyzer machine that is attached to a vehicle’s ignition system through the dashboard. The “user end” of the device is typically a small box with a tube and cord on one end which connects through your vehicle’s firewall to the ignition system of your engine.

This device is designed to prevent you from starting your vehicle if the breathalyzer detects a level of alcohol higher than a pre-programmed acceptance limit, which can vary from zero to the legal limit, which is .08 in Washington, DC. To learn more about how the use of an ignition interlock device may affect you in a specific case, call a DC ignition interlock lawyer today.

Find a Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

Since an ignition interlock device may be installed in your vehicle as a result of a DUI conviction, it is important that your DUI defense lawyer remain up-to-date regarding any alcohol monitoring devices and the ever-evolving technology upon which they rely upon.

When arguing your case, negotiating a plea-agreement, or at sentencing, an experienced Washington, DC DUI defense attorney will be dedicated to protecting your constitutional rights and fighting for your freedom. Contact our Washington, DC law office today for a free case evaluation.

How Ignition Interlock Works

When a driver starts a vehicle with an ignition interlock device, the driver must blow into the tube. If the threshold is exceeded by the driver’s breath, the car will not start. In addition, if the ignition does start the interlock requires the driver to blow into the device at random intervals.This is meant to prevent a drunk driver from having a sober friend start the car and then taking the wheel while the engine is running.

If the driver does not provide a breath sample when the system administers one of these occasional checks, several things happen:

  • An audio warning is generated and alerts the driver that they have not given a sample.
  • After a few minutes of audio warnings, the vehicles alarm system will engage. This is meant to draw other drivers’ attention to the vehicle, so they know to proceed with caution and alerts any passing police officers. The alarm will continue until either the driver turns off the ignition or provides an acceptable breath sample.
  • The interlock device logs the event, which can be reviewed by the individual’s probation officer or any law enforcement officer whose vehicle’s computer can download the information from the interlock.

Where and When Ignition Interlock Devices Are Required

Today, almost all US states and territories have laws mandating ignition interlock devices on vehicles whose operators are convicted of DWI/DUI. Costs associated with the ignition interlock device include installation, calibration, and maintenance.

In addition to the monetary costs associated with an ignition interlock device, there is also the issue of embarrassment associated with others seeing you blow into the device or having friends and family know the device is installed in your vehicle.

Even though court-ordered installation of an interlock device is not currently a sentencing requirement for DC DUI convictions, installed court may still require for one to be installed. Depending on the case, it is not unusual for a first-time offender to avoid this humiliating nuisance, especially if they have an experienced DC DUI defense attorney representing them.