What is an Ignition Interlock Device, Anyway?

Ignition interlock devices (IID) are professionally installed into a vehicle, and won’t allow the car to start, if alcohol can be detected in the breath sample the driver blows into the device. The devices often control the ignition, headlights, and horn of the car.

Movie Flashback

Remember the scene from the 40-year-old-virgin, when actress Leslie Mann asks Steve Carell to blow into her ignition interlock device? Carell naively agrees, but upon inquiry, Mann simply slurs: “the judge recommend I get one,” and drunkenly maneuvers her vehicle through swerving, honking traffic.

Carell would be guilty of unlawful conduct for basically defrauding the device unless he could convince a judge that his naiveté was genuine. It’s clearly not a defense most 40-year-old men could pull off.  In fact, the rest of us would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor in Kansas or Missouri for offering our own breath sample into someone’s ignition interlock device so that their car might start.

Ignition interlock devices (IID) are professionally installed into a vehicle, and won’t allow the car to start, if alcohol can be detected in the breath sample the driver blows into the device. The devices often control the ignition, headlights, and horn of the car. Courts issue them to individuals who are guilty of an alcohol-related traffic violation and are granted some driving privileges while they serve the remaining time on their driver’s license suspension.

Check out this video!

These devices can often be embarrassing for a driver, and products are now being sold to help disguise the device. Check out this video for the Interlock Cup: Interlock Cup

It’s Tempting to Cheat but…

You can imagine the easy way to cheat was quickly discovered and used: ask a friend to blow in it for you if you’ve had anything to drink. It’s not quite a sneaky as you may think, as the legislature has included a provision making it a class A misdemeanor for the “friend” and in most cases, the license suspension starts over for driver.

In fact, ABC went undercover to see just how many people would help a seemingly drunk stranger start their car. Most adamantly refused, but with an attractive actress dubbing as a drunk driver, it didn’t take long for her to lure someone over to help: http://abcnews.go.com/WhatWouldYouDo/car-breathalyzer-ignition-lock/story?id=10699986

15 states, including Kansas and Missouri have similar rules. A full list of participating states can be found here: http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/state-ignition-interlock-laws.aspx

Missouri Laws

Depending on the severity of your first offense, a judge may order an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your car, however it is not required for a first time offender (like it is in Kansas).

For anyone guilty of two intoxicated traffic violations, they are absolutely not allowed to drive at all without these devices installed in their car—and that’s only after they’ve fulfilled their driver’s license suspension.

However, all of these restrictions and suspensions are subject to an administrative hearing, which an experienced DUI/DWI attorney will fight to win. For a full list of approved devices in Missouri, follow this link: http://www.modot.org/safety/IgnitionInterlock.htm

Kansas Laws

The Kansas statute is more strict. Basically, depending on how many strikes you’ve had with alcohol related traffic violations, you could be looking at up to a year drivers license suspension, and up to ten years of restriction to an IID. (don’t worry, after 5 years you can petition the court to reduce the sentence).

After your first intoxication offense, you’ll face a 30 day suspension of your license, and then 6 months of driving with the device in your vehicle.

After your second offense, or if your first offense involved a BAC over .15, you’ll face a year’s driving suspension and then will be allowed to drive with the device for an amount of time determined by the rest of your driving/criminal record.

However, all of these restrictions and suspensions are subject to an administrative hearing, which an experienced DUI/DWI attorney will fight to win. Who pays for this device, and its upkeep you may wonder? You do.

Get DUI Help from Grover Law Firm

If you’ve been charged with DUI, our professional attorneys at Grover Law Firm in Kansas City can help. In order to avoid significant fines, revocation of driving privileges or even jail time, it is essential to contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible after being charged.

You should never drink and drive, but if you do find yourself facing DUI charges, give us a call immediately at 913-432-1000 or visit our website to request more information. We’ll do everything we can to ensure the best outcome for your case — and your life.

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