Ignition Interlock Device: Part 1

In 2011 the State of Alabama became the last state in the United States to pass an ignition interlock device law.  An ignition interlock device is placed in the vehicles of certain individuals convicted of DUI.  The device is connected to the vehicle’s ignition system.  In order for the vehicle to start, the driver must register a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02% or lower.   With the passage of the ignition interlock device, Alabama joined a list of states that make it mandatory for installation of the device if a person is convicted of providing a BAC of .15% or higher or if the person is a repeat offender.

There are several ways that a person may be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed.  If a person is convicted of a second offense within five years or a third offense within five years, those individuals will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed.  Even some first offenders will be subject to installation of an ignition interlock device.  There are really four ways that a first offender may be subject to the ignition interlock law:

1) A driver has a BAC of .15% or greater

2) A driver who refuses to provide BAC sample

3) A driver convicted of DUI who had a passenger below 14 years of age

4) A driver who causes another person to be injured.

Whenever an individual is ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed, there are several different time frames that may be imposed.   If on a first conviction, a driver has a BAC of less than .15% then the ignition interlock device will be installed for two years.  If on a first conviction, a driver has a BAC of .15% or greater or refused to provide a BAC, then the ignition interlock device will be installed for four years.  If on a second conviction within five years, a driver has a BAC of less than .15% or then the ignition interlock device will be installed for two years.  If on a second conviction within five years, a driver has a BAC of .15% or greater or refused to provide a BAC, then the ignition interlock device will be installed for four years.  If on a third conviction within five years, a driver has a BAC of less than .15% then the ignition interlock device will be installed for three years.  If on a third conviction within five years, a driver has a BAC of .15% or greater or refused to provide a BAC, then the ignition interlock device will be installed for six years.  If on a fourth conviction within five years, a driver has a BAC of less than .15% then the ignition interlock device will be installed for five years.  If on a fourth conviction within five years, a driver has a BAC of .15% or greater or refused to provide a BAC, then the ignition interlock device will be installed for ten years.

Unfortunately for those individuals subject to installation of an ignition interlock device, these time frames do not begin to run until the issuance of a valid drivers license.  This means that when a driver’s license has been suspended/revoked, the time requirement does not begin to run until the license is reinstated.  There are numerous issues involved with the new ignition interlock device law.  Anyone facing this issue should contact the DUI attorneys and Parkman White, LLP.  Check back for my next post where I will discuss the issues drivers face with installation of the ignition interlock device along with some costs.