What to Know about Driving with an Ignition Interlock Device

As part of your sentencing after a DUI conviction, you may have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car. And, as your Asheville DUI lawyer will tell you in detail, you must comply with all the rules pertaining to the IID program in order to keep your driving privileges.

This article will explain everything you need to know about using a car equipped with an ignition interlock device.

How Does the Ignition Interlock Device Work?

The IID is connected to the ignition of your car and has a breathalyzer mouthpiece. You have to blow into the mouthpiece before starting the car. If your blood level content is zero, then you can start the car. Otherwise, the IID will block the ignition.

Who Sells and Installs These Devices?

You cannot buy any device online or in an after-market car parts store. The North Carolina ignition interlock program obliges you to procure the device only from one of the four approved providers for our state:

  • Intoxalock
  • Monitech Inc.
  • Smart Start Inc.

These companies are accredited to install, maintain and calibrate these devices. They are also legally allowed to download your breathalyzer results and send them to the NCDMV.

What Happens If You Fail a Breath Test While Driving?

The ignition interlock device will randomly prompt you to provide a breath sample while you are driving (the rolling re-test). This test is required to check that you did not drink alcohol after starting your car.

You will fail the test even if your BAC is below the 0.08 level, because you are not supposed to drink at all after being sentenced for DUI. In this situation, you will receive a warning that you tested positive. Your car will not automatically stop, as many drivers believe. But you should pull over as quickly as it is safe to do so and not resume driving.

If you continue driving after failing a rolling re-test, your car horn will sound repeatedly and the headlights will keep flashing, flagging your car for being pulled over by the first police officer you meet.

the ignition interlock program is part of DUI sentencing

What to Know about Entrusting a Car with an IID to Someone Else

If a family member or friend needs to borrow your car, your Asheville DUI attorney warns you to be very careful. First of all, explain to them how the device works and about the rolling re-testing.

Secondly, only entrust your car to someone you know to be a responsible driver. Any failed IID tests while they are using your vehicle will be on your record and negatively impact your driving privileges.

Using Any Vehicle without an Ignition Interlock Device Is Illegal

While you may let someone else drive your IID-equipped car, you cannot drive any car without the device. Once you are caught violating the terms of the ignition interlock program, your driving license will be suspended for one additional year.

If you need to use a car without the device in an emergency situation, make sure to notify the DMV within 24 hours, providing solid reasons for this action.

What to Do If You Violate the Terms of the IID Program

When you go to the ignition interlock device provider for regular maintenance and calibration, they will download the history of all breath tests and send them to the NCDMV. If you failed any test, the NCDMV will send you a suspension notification.

After you receive it, you have only 10 (ten) days to request a hearing by filing a form and paying the fee. You may lose the hearing leading to the suspension of your driving privileges. However, if you do not challenge the Notice of Suspension, it will automatically take effect and you won’t be able to drive.

An Experienced Asheville DUI Lawyer Will Explain All Ignition Interlock Rules

If you have to use an ignition interlock device, talk to your Asheville DUI attorney about the rules and restrictions. You need to comply with every single one of them if you want to keep your driving privileges and avoid further charges.

If you are a new client, we offer you a free case evaluation, so call us today at 828-759-5556!

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