The effects of a DUI charge and conviction in Indiana can be far-reaching and long-lasting. When facing operating while intoxicated (OWI) charges, you may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicles.
An ignition interlock device is an additional expense to install and maintain on top of any other penalties and costs imposed as part of a DUI conviction. You may be required to keep an ignition interlock device in place for months or years. Failing to meet this requirement can result in additional criminal charges and administrative penalties.
The Stracci Law Group can provide you with a highly dedicated Crown Point DUI attorney. Ignition interlock devices and the laws surrounding them can be complex. If you are facing an OWI charge in Indiana, you deserve an experienced ignition interlock device lawyer who understands the law.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breathalyzer that is installed on the dashboard and engine of your vehicle by an approved third-party provider. The device includes a camera that takes a photo of whoever is providing a breath sample on the device. The IID must be installed and removed by a trained technician; otherwise, your vehicle may suffer significant damage.
The IID requires that you blow into the device to measure your breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) prior to starting your vehicle.
In addition, your IID will require periodic rolling tests while you are driving. An alert will indicate that you must provide an additional breath sample into your IID, and you will have several minutes to do so. This allows you to find a safe place to pull over and provide a breath sample.
Failing or missing one of these rolling tests will be recorded as an IID violation. However, the IID will not stop your vehicle while you are driving. You may also face additional criminal liability if alcohol is detected or if you tamper with the IID.
Indiana Law on Ignition Interlock Devices
While your case is pending, Indiana interlock laws allow the court to issue an order recommending your vehicle be equipped with an IID regardless of whether you refused to submit to a chemical test or submitted to a chemical test that resulted in prima facie evidence that you were intoxicated. It is in your best interest to have an attorney petition the court for an IID in lieu of suspension and advocate on your behalf. If the petition is granted, the IID order remains in effect until the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is notified by a court that your criminal charges have been resolved.
If the court orders an IID after an OWI conviction, it must state how long the device must remain installed but cannot require a driver to keep the device longer than the maximum term of imprisonment that the court could have imposed. If the IID is ordered as a condition of specialized driving privileges, the court may require a driver to keep the device throughout the entire duration of the specialized driving privileges or for a fixed term ordered by the court.
The IID provider is required to report to the court the following:
- Attempts to start the vehicle with alcohol in your system;
- Failure to take or pass any required test; or
- Failure of the driver to report to the facility for maintenance, repair, calibration, monitoring, inspection, or replacement of the device.
A person who knowingly or intentionally violates a court’s order for ignition interlock as a condition of a specialized driving privileges order commits a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
When Is an Ignition Interlock Device Required in Crown Point?
If you are alleged to refuse a chemical test resulting in OWI charges, you will only be eligible for an ignition interlock device as a hardship license. If you have prior OWI convictions, it is more likely the court will require you to install an ignition interlock device regardless of whether you refused a chemical test.
An Indiana ignition interlock lawyer may be able to assist you in avoiding an IID order by challenging the evidence of your OWI offense. Your attorney may also petition the court for judicial review of whether you refused a chemical test.
Costs of an Ignition Interlock Device in Indiana
If a court orders you to install an IID in your vehicle, you will be responsible for the costs associated with compliance. The costs can be divided into three general categories:
- Initial installation costs
- Ongoing monthly maintenance costs
- End-of-service costs
Initial installation costs range from $70 to $150, depending on the provider. These costs cover the time and material needed to properly put the IID in one vehicle. If you drive multiple vehicles, they will all need to be equipped with IIDs at an additional fee.
You will also have to pay a monthly lease fee for the equipment and a calibration fee. These fees cover the provider’s costs of renting the IID to you and checking its continued functionality. Maintenance costs range from $150 to $170 per month.
Finally, the provider will charge a fee of between $50 and $100 to safely remove the device from your car. If you have multiple vehicles with multiple IIDs, you will have to pay a removal fee for each device and vehicle.
Once an IID is ordered, there is little a Crown Point ignition interlock device attorney can do regarding the costs. You may wish to investigate several IID providers to find the best value.
Types of Ignition Interlock Device Violations in Crown Point, NWI
Just installing an IID does not mean you are compliant with the law. Potential violations of an IID order include:
- Failing to keep an IID installed in your vehicles
- Failing or missing required tests
- Having another person take a breath test for you
These violations can carry serious consequences, including additional fines, jail time, and license suspension.
Failing to Keep an IID in Your Vehicles
You must keep an IID installed in any vehicle you operate for the entire period ordered by the court. The IID requirement follows you, the driver, and not any specific vehicle. Operating any vehicle without an IID or failing to pay the monthly fees is a violation and can be punished by the court. Trying to tamper with or remove the IID yourself also violates the court’s IID order.
You must pass breath tests before and while operating your car. If you fail a test, your car will not start, and the incident will be reported to the court by your provider.
While your car is running, your IID will prompt you periodically for breath samples. You will have a few minutes once prompted to provide a sample. Any failure will be recorded and reported.
Finally, your IID will take a photograph of the person providing each breath sample. You can be sanctioned for having someone else blow into your device so that you can drive.
Reach out to an experienced Crown Point ignition interlock attorney for help if you are accused of violating the court’s IID order.
Ignition Interlock Devices vs. Specialized Driving Privileges: Which Is Better?
Typically, under Indiana law, a person who has alleged to have refused a chemical test under Indiana’s implied consent law is only eligible for an IID. If you did not refuse a chemical test, you are likely eligible for an IID or Specialized Driving Privileges. In most cases, the better your driving record, the more options you may have. While both IID and SDP restore your driving privileges, there are pros and cons to both.
The advantage of an IID is the freedom to drive anywhere, at any time, without any restrictions. However, an IID is more expensive and will be clearly noticeable in your vehicle.
On the other hand, specialized driving privileges do not require the installation of a breathalyzer or obvious fees. However, they restrict where and when you can drive your vehicle. An IID program lawyer from Stracci Law Group can help you determine the best option to fit your lifestyle. We will help you get back onto the road.
Contact Our Ignition Interlock Device Defense Attorney in Northwest Indiana
If you have been charged with OWI/DUI in NW Indiana, don’t hesitate to contact the OWI/DUI lawyer team at Stracci Law Group. The Indiana criminal justice system moves quickly, and prosecutors are aggressive. You are going to need help right away to avoid a wide variety of penalties, including but not limited to restrictions on your driving privileges. We serve clients in Crown Point, Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary, and elsewhere in NW Indiana.