DUI DIY: Installing An Ignition Interlock Device In Your Car

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a gadget, a little bigger larger than a cell phone, that is wired to your car’s ignition.  Individuals are required to blow into the device before starting the engine. All systems are leased for approximately $1,000 per system.Ignition Interlock Device

Maryland statute regarding IIDs indicates that:

“A person who is subject to license suspension via the point system for a conviction of DWI may be issued a restricted license by participating in the Ignition Interlock Program. A person who is subject to license revocation following a conviction for either DWI or for DUI may have the license suspended in lieu of revocation by
participating in the same program. The suspension periods (or restricted license) imposed are the same as for DWI.”

That is to say, a 1 year suspension of license would require a 1 year period of Ignition Interlock Installation, a 2 year suspension would result in a 2 year Ignition Interlock Installation and so on.

1. Start-Up: To start their vehicles, drivers are required to blow into the device. If it detects alcohol at .025 percent Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC), the device will prevent the vehicle from starting; and will enter into lockout for five minutes. If after the 2nd breath test, the driver’s BrAC is still above .025, the next few lockout periods will be for 30 minutes each.

2. Rolling Retest Feature: In order to prevent someone from drinking and then having a sober person breathe into the device to start the car, you are periodically asked to provide breath samples as you drive. While driving, if you are unable to provide a clean breath sample, the device will log the event, warn the driver, start an alarm with lights flashing and horn honking, until the car is turned off or a clean breath sample is provided. It will not simply shut off the engine, as is the common misconception, because this would
cause an unsafe driving situation.

3. Early Recall: A violation that requires the driver of the vehicle to return the vehicle to an ignition interlock installation service center for unscheduled service includes:

A. Three Breath Alcohol Concentrations over .025

B. One rolling retest violation

C. One event of tampering with the ignition interlock device

When the early recall is initiated, the driver will have 5 days to report to a service center with an additional 5 day grace period. If the grace period is exceeded, the vehicle will enter into a permanent lockout condition resulting in the vehicle being towed to the installation service center.

4. Monitoring: Program participants are scheduled to report for monitoring after the first 30 days and thereafter every 60 days.  Here the vehicle is checked for tampering, recalibrated, and the device data log – which records all activity –  is reviewed.

5. Installing an IID:  The Maryland DOT will direct you to a number of vendors who specialize in this.

What Are The Penalties Involved With Ignition Interlock?

A driver found operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock, or tampering with it will be arrested.  Tampering includes using another individual to provide a breath sample.  And if the individual is found with a .025 BrAC, then he/she will be fined $1000 and imprisoned for a minimum of 90 days.

Problems with Interlock

Interlocks can misread a slice of pizza or a cup of coffee as an alcoholic beverage. Nail polish remover, hand sanitizing liquid, mouthwash and even can cause a false positive.  The device has even blocked out drivers for a number of DAYS after a positive test!!

Get Help with Your DUI.  If you are charged with a DUI in  it is in your best interests to find the best DUI attorney in MD.  A highly trained DUI professional can help challenge these charges and protect your rights and future.  Do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Alpert Schreyer today. Call (866) 444-6363 or fill out our online form to receive a confidential evaluation of your case by an experienced legal professional.

About Andrew Alpert

+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.