Ignition interlock devices: What you should know

Some convicted drunk drivers in Georgia may be ordered to use ignition interlock devices in their vehicles to prevent the occurrence of another DUI.

People who choose to drink and drive in Buford, and across the state of Georgia, run the risk of being charged and convicted of a DUI. A DUI can have a serious impact on a person's ability to obtain employment in certain fields, retain a professional license and receive financial funding. Convicted drunk drivers also face several criminal penalties, including driver's license suspension, hefty fines and possible jail time. Furthermore, certain convicted DUI offenders in the state may be ordered to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicles in order to prevent them from committing another drinking and driving offense. Although interlock devices enable DUI offenders to use their vehicles to drive to necessary destinations, such as school, work, treatment meetings and doctor's appointments, they do come with certain rules and regulations that people must follow in order to avoid further penalties.

What is an interlock device?

Ignition interlock devices are essentially breath test machines that are wired directly into an offender's vehicle, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The driver must submit a breath sample in order to start the car, and at random intervals while operating the vehicle. The device measures the driver's blood alcohol content level to determine whether he or she is capable of driving. If at any time the driver's BAC level reads above a preset limit, which is usually 0.02 percent, the car will either lockup during the initial attempt to start the vehicle, or it will sound an alarm alerting the driver to pull over and turn off the car. All of the information regarding BAC levels, startup attempts and lockups is recorded within the device, and then transmitted to authorities during the vehicle's regularly scheduled maintenance appointments.

Interlock device laws

It is not required that first-time DUI offenders have an interlock device installed in their vehicles, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. However, a judge may use his or her discretion to order use of an IID to a first-time offender if necessary. People who are convicted of two or more DUIs in the state are required to install a device in all of their vehicles for a minimum of 12 months.

Getting the help you need

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or any other type of criminal traffic infraction, you may be unsure of where to turn for legal assistance. Facing these daunting charges can be intimidating and overwhelming. A criminal defense attorney in Georgia may be able to answer your questions, provide support and help you explore your legal options during this hard time.

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