If you have been arrested for a DUI, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car. This device can be mandated either by the DMV at a point after a suspension has been lifted, or by the courts as part of the penalty associated with a guilty verdict (or plea agreement).
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is a piece of technology that is installed on the ignition system of any vehicle. Put simply, it is a breathalyzer device that checks the blood alcohol level of the driver before it allows the vehicle to be started. Whenever you want to drive, you must first blow into the device in order for the car to start. Georgia requires these devices in order to prevent drunk driving by people who have a known (or suspected) history of this type of activity.
Who Pays for the Ignition Interlock Device?
If you are ordered to have this device installed in your vehicle, you will be responsible for all the associated fees for both the installation, and when the time comes, its removal. To comply with the requirement, you simply bring your vehicle to an authorized interlock installation shop, and show them the court or DMV order. Once you pay their fees, they will professionally install the device on your vehicle. Once the court or DMV authorizes you to have the device removed, you bring the proper paperwork to the same shop and they will take it off.
How Long is an Ignition Interlock Device Required?
The length of time that you are required to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle will depend on a number of factors. If the order is from the DMV, they will typically require you to have this device on your vehicle for one year after your license suspension has been lifted. The courts are more flexible, but will often require the device to be in place at least until your probation has been completed.
What if You Get a New Car?
If you are going to be purchasing a new vehicle, you will need to go to the court or DMV office that issued the order, and request that they issue an amendment to change vehicles. You can then bring both the old vehicle and the new one to the ignition interlock shop and have them move it to the new vehicle. You will be responsible for all related fees.
Can You Drive Another Vehicle?
Part of the order from the courts or DMV will state that you are only permitted to drive the vehicle that has the ignition interlock device installed. You may not drive other people’s vehicles during the time that you are ordered to have this device installed.
Contact Us to Avoid an Ignition Interlock
If you have been arrested and/or charged with a DUI, it is important to act quickly to ensure you have as many options available as possible. In many cases, we can even help to avoid the requirement to have an ignition interlock system installed at all. Contact us to schedule a free consultation right away.