Are Ignition Interlock Devices Mandatory in an NC DWI?

Colloquially known as “blow and go,” an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a portable Breathalyzer which is attached to the vehicle’s ignition. Drivers must provide acceptable chemical samples to start the car or keep it running. A failure or refusal disables the ignition. These devices are mandatory after both DWI arrests and convictions, in some cases. Raleigh DWI attorneys usually cannot fight this particular requirement.

NC Interlock Laws

Drivers who are convicted of DWI must have these devices installed in any vehicle they drive if any of the following facts apply:

  • Your BAC level was .15 or higher
  • This DWI conviction was the second one in the last seven years
  • You refused to provide a chemical sample at the time of arrest

IID Requirements After a DWI Conviction

Additionally, people with enhanced DWI convictions (BAC of .15 or higher) must wait forty-five days to install an IID. They may not drive at all during this month and a half. Once the IID is in place, the alcohol concentration restriction must be either .00 or .04, depending on sentencing requirements. If you provide a sample above that level, the ignition disables.

Generally, first-time DWI offenders must drive with an IID device for up to one year. If you have a prior DWI or certain aggravating circumstances existed, that requirement is three to seven years.

After installation, drivers must periodically allow providers to download IID test data and send this information to the DMV. This information includes any failed attempts to start the vehicle, as well as an excessive number of rolling refusals. Based on this data, the DMV may suspend your drivers’ license. A Raleigh DWI attorney may represent you at an administrative hearing, and fight the suspension.

Costs and Fees

Moreover, drivers must pay all fees and costs, including installation fees, monitoring fees, and removal costs. Failure to do so could result in an administrative license suspension hearing, as outlined above. Typically, when added together, these costs could exceed $1,000 per year.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you were charged with a crime in Wake County, the Raleigh DWI attorneys at Sandman, Finn & Fitzhugh, Attorneys at Law, can possibly get your case dismissed or reduce the charges and penalties you face. Since we understand how difficult a drunk driving conviction can make life, we quickly assess your case, accurately evaluate your legal options, identify the weaknesses in the state’s case, and create an effective defense strategy which obtains the best possible results.

For more information, fill out the form below or call us at (919) 845-6688 for a free consultation.