TACDL
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Tennessee Bar Association
National College of DUI Defense
iapp
DUI Defense Lawyers Association

Interlock Ignition Devices and DUIs

October 6, 2014

Tennessee is one of many states that mandates the installation of ignition interlock devices for certain drunk driving offenders. These devices require the driver to take a breath test before starting the vehicle. Some even require an additional test while the car is running. If the driver fails the test, the engine will stop, thus preventing the driver from operating the vehicle.

In Tennessee, individuals convicted of DUI will face a license suspension. If the driver wishes to drive on a restricted license during the suspension, he or she may have to install an interlock device. Some repeat offenders are required by law to install a device and are not allowed to drive without one.

The installation of these devices should not be taken lightly. They are rather expensive to install, maintain and calibrate. Furthermore, they keep track of your actions. If you fail the breath test multiple times, it could result in additional consequences. In nearby Mississippi, individuals who are locked out of the system multiple times in a month will face new criminal charges. According to WMC Action News 5, new interlock devices can take photos of the test taker, so drivers cannot cheat the system by having a sober passenger breathe into the machine.

These devices are a form of punishment, but they can provide an opportunity to drive for DUI offenders who have had their license suspended. Having to pay for an ignition device is often favorable to asking friends for rides. For some, living and working without a license is just not an option.

If you are facing DUI charges in Tennessee, it is crucial that you explore your legal options. You may be able to fight the charges or to have the penalties reduced. Your Knoxville DUI defense attorney can also answer your questions regarding ignition interlock devices and whether or not you will have to install one in your car.