A drunk driving conviction is entirely avoidable, but some people fail to take it seriously enough. The punishments can catch some drivers by surprise when you consider that drunk driving penalties have steadily increased over the years with an eye to saving lives. What that means for those arrested is that securing legal help from a criminal law attorney has never been more important. The list of potential punishments if convicted of impaired driving go and on, but you might want to know more about one fairly new way to curb those who have past driving under the influence (DUI) convictions, the ignition interlock device.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
You may have heard (and encountered) blood alcohol tests performed by a breathalyzer. In many cases, the use of one of these portable, handheld devices constitutes a major portion of evidence leading to a DUI conviction and are common during roadside stops. An ignition interlock device is essentially the same thing except it's attached to a vehicle's ignition. To start the car, you have to blow into the tube. Each state has different laws but if your breath measures a certain level of alcohol, the car will not start.
Costs Associated with an Ignition Interlock Device
As with all types of DUI punishments, the costs for using these devices are not cheap. You should, however, consider the alternative – which might be not driving at all. In many cases, this type of punishment is part of being able to use what is known as a hardship driver's license. You may be able to go to your job, take your children to school, etc, or drive only during certain hours of the day. In return for these privileges, a price must be paid. Most devices come with an:
- Installation fee – expect to pay around $100-$200.
- Use fee – the monitoring of the device can run you around $50-$150 (that is each month for the duration).
- Removal fee – expect to pay around $75 to have it removed.
When it's a No Go
Unfortunately, your problems may only be beginning if you are unable to start your car due to the ignition interlock device. Many of these devices communicate the results back to your probation officer and can result in additional charges.
The only way to avoid having to deal with this device is to avoid a DUI conviction. Speak to a DUI lawyer to learn more.