What is an Ignition Interlock Device and Who is Required to Have One in Georgia?

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People who get arrested and charged with DUI in Georgia face very serious consequences. Not only will they have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines, they will also face other penalties. For example, most people know that people convicted of DUI lose their license at least for a few months. What you may not know is that you can also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device.

An ignition interlock is something you install on your car to check your blood alcohol concentration. This measures the same thing the police measure when they make you take a breathalyzer test. Only, with an ignition interlock device (IID), you have to blow into the tube in order to start your car. If your BAC is over .00, the car won’t start.

Whether or not you’re ordered to install this device on your car depends on a few things. First, it depends on whether it’s your first or second offense. It also depends on high your blood alcohol concentration was at the time of your arrest. If your BAC is higher than .15, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to install an IID. And, for people who’ve had more than one DUI conviction within a five (5) year period, it is almost a guarantee. This is why it’s so important to hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Athens, Georgia right away. This will give you the best chance of avoiding a DUI conviction in the first place.

How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?

If you need to install an ignition interlock device in your car, you’ll experience more than a minor inconvenience. This device attaches to the starter of your car. Before you turn your car on, you’ll have to breathe into the tube attached to the device. If the machine detects any alcohol in your blood, the car won’t start.

The other thing about this device is that it may require you to breathe into the tube while you’re driving. You may have to pull over and breathe into the device halfway through your trip. If it comes up as having a BAC over 0.0, your car will shut off and you won’t be able to restart it.

Some people think the solution is to have someone else breathe into the device. Not only is this against the law, but it’s a good way to get yourself into more trouble than you’re already in.

An Ignition Interlock Device is Not Cheap

If the court orders you to install an ignition interlock device, you’ll be responsible for the cost. Not only will you have to pay the $100-$200 to install the device, but you’ll also be required to pay monthly fees. It usually costs anywhere from $60 to $80 per month to use the device. You also have to pay ongoing maintenance fees. Finally, once your suspension period is over, you’ll have to pay $250 to get your device removed.

The court is not going to waive any of these fees. In fact, the court sees the allowance of an IID as a luxury. Otherwise, you’d be dealing with a hard suspension of your license. And, for people who have multiple DUI convictions, you won’t be eligible for a work permit. You’ll have to burden a license suspension of at least one (1) year. The same is true if you are arrested with a BAC level well over the legal limit.

Call and Talk to an Experienced DUI Defense Lawyer in Athens, Georgia

Of course, the best way to avoid having to install an ignition interlock device is to not be convicted of DUI. The best way to do this is to hire an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Athens. Your attorney will work with the prosecutor to try to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Or, depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to get a work permit to avoid a license suspension all together. This will allow you to drive your car to work, school or doctor’s appointments. However, you won’t be able to use it for leisure or entertainment purposes.

Call today and schedule your consultation with one of our skilled DUI lawyers in Athens, Georgia. There is too much at stake to try to handle this on your own. An ignition interlock device is not only cumbersome but it is very expensive.