DUI/DWI offenders may sometimes be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device that keeps them from operating a vehicle if their blood alcohol level (BAC) is above a predetermined limit.
Some states require the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle if you are convicted of DUI/DWI. The exact law on the ignition interlock device varies from state to state. While in some states it is mandatory, in other states the courts have the discretion to order the installation of the device. State law will determine the period of time during which the device must be installed in the vehicle.
How an Ignition Lock Device Works
These ignition interlocking devices are intended to prevent the car from starting if the operator’s blood alcohol level is above a set limit. This limit will depend on state law. The limit in most states is slightly below the legal blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08%.
However, some states have set this limit to 0%, which means that the device will not allow the vehicle to start if there is even the smallest trace of alcohol in the driver’s system. Once the driver gets into the vehicle, he or she must blow into a handheld device connected to the ignition. The device will measure the concentration of alcohol in the driver’s blood.
Altering the Ignition Lock Device
Do not try to modify the device because it is a crime to do so. You will be required to take the vehicle to a state-approved service station for periodic maintenance of your vehicle to determine that the ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle and it is functioning properly. If the service station detects any sign of alteration, they will report it and you will be subject to even greater punishments if found guilty. You must pay for the device, the installation costs, and the maintenance fees. If you do not install the device, you will not be able to drive your vehicle.
Laws on Ignition Locking Devices
Georgia’s ignition interlock laws say that repeat offenders guilty of driving while intoxicated are required to install a locking device on any vehicle they operate, and the device must remain installed for at least 12 months after driving rights are reinstated.
First-time violators may request an ignition interlock device to regain the right to drive after meeting at least 30 days of license suspension.
License Suspension in Georgia
Georgia Driving Under the Influence (DUI) laws say that any person arrested for suspected intoxicated driving is subject to having their driver’s license automatically suspended if the person refuses to take a breath test or fails the test. In this case, the arresting officer will issue a 10-day driver’s license, and while this license is in effect, the driver may request a hearing to object to the suspension. If the driver does not request a hearing, or if the hearing is unsuccessful, the suspension will continue for one year.
If the driver is found guilty of driving while intoxicated in a criminal court or accepts a plea of guilty in court, he or she is subject to an additional independent suspension from the automatic suspension that was granted at the time of the arrest. The suspension ordered by the court may vary from one year to five years, depending on criminal history and other factors. A first-time offender may face a suspension of less than one year. All offenders are subject to fines and jail terms.
Contact an Experienced Georgia DUI Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a DUI and have questions about your charges or ignition interlock devices, contact the attorneys at Lankford & Moore Law today. We understand Georgia’s laws and will ensure that your rights are protected.