Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) and Gwinnett County DUI Cases
An ignition interlock device is a dashboard-mounted breathalyzer which prevents the vehicle from starting until the driver blows a 0.00 BAC reading. It is a court-mandated sanction for those who have been convicted of a second DUI within a 5-year span. These drivers are required to install the device for 12 months during which they drive with a limited permit. This year-long IID period comes after the driver completes a 4-month hard license suspension, during which they cannot drive at all. After the suspension period, they may apply for their limited permit and install an IID. Every state in the union permits the use of ignition interlock devices as a sentencing alternative in DUI cases.
After the initial test to start the vehicle, the device will prompt the driver for additional tests throughout the ride. This is meant to ensure that someone other than the driver did not start the vehicle and that the driver is not consuming alcohol while driving. If a device registers a positive result while the vehicle is in motion, it will not stop the engine contrary to popular belief. This would make IID manufacturers vulnerable to substantial liability, in case of crashes caused by a halted vehicle. Instead, the vehicle's alarms may sound and lights may flash until it has been turned off.
The results of every breathalyzer reading taken by an IID are forwarded to the driver's probation officer. Any positive result registered by the device is considered a failure. This could result in a probation revocation hearing if the result is not successfully disputed. Although rare, false positives have been known to occur. If your IID registers a positive, false or positive, contact your Gwinnett County DUI lawyer immediately so they may consult with you and determine your next steps. These devices have become increasingly sophisticated over the years, but like any machine, they are not infallible. The ethanol fuel sensor in the device is sensitive to other alcohol groups as well.
Tampering with Ignition Interlock Devices in Gwinnett County
IIDs are designed not to be tampered with. Do not tamper with or attempt to disable your IID, as this could result in further in further criminal prosecution and likely result in a revocation of your probation. Some devices are equipped with cameras to make certain that the person giving a breath sample is, in fact, the driver. In the past, there have been cases of drivers with IIDs entreating friends, family or children to blow into the device for them to start the vehicle. Cameras helped to deter this, allowing probation officers to view not only the BAC reading but also a photograph of the person whose breath provided that reading.
There are a handful of costs associated with installing and maintaining an ignition interlock. If you have been ordered to install one in your vehicle because of prior DUI convictions, you are personally responsible for these costs. Because they are only needed for a 12-month span, these devices are rented out from the manufacturer rather than purchased. After an initial payment between $100 and $200, the monthly fee ranges from $70 to $100, depending on the manufacturer chosen. There may be additional maintenance and calibration fees, ranging $60 to $80 monthly. The price of installation averages about $100, but would depend on the make model and year of your car. Installation takes approximately two hours. Some auto shops may be reluctant to install an IID on a luxury or classic vehicle, for fear of damaging it. Be sure to fully brief an auto shop on the specifics of your vehicle during a preliminary call. They may charge more for newer vehicles whose manufacturers have not yet released wiring information. Because the driver is responsible for financing the costs of the IID, the requirement may be waived in cases of financial hardship.
It is important to remember that DUI probationers are strictly prohibited from consuming any alcohol whatsoever. Although the legal limit for regular citizens in .08, do not presume that .08 is the limit for an IID. If an IID registers a blood alcohol content above 0.00, this constitutes a failure. The vehicle will not start, or alarms will sound if it is already in motion. The driver's IID readings will be forwarded to their probation officer for review at 30, 60 or 90-day intervals. If the driver has tested positive, the probation officer may file to revoke part or all of their probation. A warrant may be issued and the driver would be held until their court hearing. They could remain in custody for up to 30 days. Bond is rare in cases involving a probation violation. If you are on probation for a DUI, it is simply not worth it to consume alcohol given the possible consequences.
Contact Our Gwinnett County DUI Lawyers Today
Before giving a sample of your breath for an ignition interlock device, you can take a few precautions to safeguard against false positives. Mouthwash is a famous culprit of false positives, as are yeasty and spicy foods. It is a good rule of thumb to not consume anything for at least 20 minutes before giving a sample to an IID. Do not use Chloraseptic spray before providing a sample. IIDs are sensitive to isopropyl alcohols (found in hand sanitizer, hand wipes, soaps, and gels), so avoid using these for at least 20 minutes as well. If you blow a false positive, the court may have a difficult time believing this defense because they are relatively rare. This is why it is important to safeguard against them. In the event that you do, consult with your Gwinnett County DUI Lawyer immediately.
If you face a DUI charge or a probation violation in Georgia, you will need an exceptional legal representative to scrutinize your charges and fight for you in court. Contact Gwinnett County DUI Attorney Richard Lawson today for a free consultation.