Tuesday, March 8, 2011

There is No Way Around the Ignition Interlock Device!

The ignition interlock device is a clever invention that, once installed on a vehicle, must be blown into before the vehicle will start. If the device detects any alcohol it will prevent the vehicle from operating. It effectively works as a foolproof intoxilyzer for would be under the influence drivers.

Having an ignition interlock device on your vehicle is expensive. Once installed, the device is monitored from a remote location by a company who reports directly to the courts. If the device detects alcohol, they know. If the device is removed so that the vehicle can be operated, they know. If either of the these scenario occur, the monitoring company immediately notifies the court, and the driver is now facing an order to show cause and a violation of his or her probation terms.

Due to the expense and life intrusion caused by the ignition interlock device, judges used to have discretion to order its installation on repeat offenders, or first time drunk drivers with high blood alcohol results. This has all changed. Utah law now requires everyone convicted of a DUI to install the ignition interlock device, whether ordered by the court or not.

If you are over 21 years old and are convicted of your first DUI, you have to have an ignition interlock device installed for eighteen months. If you pick up your first DUI and you are under 21 years old, you get to keep the interlock device on your vehicles for three years. If you violate your ignition interlock device rules, you must keep it for three more years (and your license gets revoked for a year). If you pick up a subsequent DUI, three more years. If you refuse a chemical test during a DUI investigation, you get the three years of ignition interlock on your car. Finally, if you are convicted of a felony DUI, you get to have the device on your vehicles for six years - unless you killed someone, then its ten years.

The best way to avoid the expense and inconvenience of the ignition interlock device is to avoid driving with a measurable amount of alcohol in your system. If you do have to install the device, however, the best way to get rid of it is to either sell all your vehicles and not drive, or comply with the terms, and never drive while intoxicated.

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