Ignition Interlock Devices and Louisiana DWI/DUI Law

Some states require special aggravating circumstances or multiple convictions before they impose an ignition interlock device requirement. Louisiana is not one of them. Louisiana law regarding DWI/DUI contains many strict provisions in the state’s effort to curtail or stamp out drinking and driving. The state is one of only eight that requires even first-time offenders to attach an ignition interlock device to their vehicles. It is extremely important to understand what this process entails and what it means to your ability to continue driving if you’re convicted of drinking and driving. Sometimes, this provision can be waived and not imposed on a first-time offender.

Ignition interlock devices, also known as IIDs or BAIIDs, are mechanisms that attach to vehicles’ dashboards and connect to the ignition system. The device requires the operator to blow a breath sample, which it then analyzes to determine the operator’s blood alcohol content. If the sample indicates that the driver is sober, the ignition system will work. If not, the vehicle will not start.

Be aware that ignition interlock devices are often quite expensive. The ignition interlock device on your car must come from a manufacturer approved by State Police Applied Technology. Currently, the state has seven approved vendors for ignition interlock devices. The driver must pay for the installation of the device and also pay a monthly lease fee. Given that installation may cost as much as $100 or more, along with a monthly fee of $50-100, the total cost of your ignition interlock device can set you back several hundred dollars, even for a duration as short as just six months.

Despite the expense, ignition interlock devices may be an essential tool to keep you on the road in some cases. For example, if you are convicted of DWI/DUI with a blood alcohol content above 0.20, Louisiana law requires a license suspension of at least two years, greatly diminishing your ability to earn a living and potentially negatively impacting your family’s lives. You may be able to obtain a “hardship” license for the entire period of your suspension, though, if you install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
If a court requires you to install an ignition interlock device, you must ensure you follow all the state’s procedural requirements to ensure you get credit and can re-acquire your license at the end of your suspension period. In addition to making certain you use a state-approved vendor, you must also submit your device lease agreement and your installation invoice to prove that you installed the device in your car. Additionally, you must install devices in any car you wish to drive, whether owned by you or another, such as your employer.

Ignition interlock devices can represent either a huge help or enormous burden to a driver facing a DWI/DUI charge, depending on the circumstances. If you are charged with a DWI/DUI offense, your first step should be to reach out to an experienced Louisiana attorney. For advice and representation in your DUI/DWI case, consult the Louisiana DWI/DUI attorneys at the Cardone Law Firm. We can provide you with an aggressive, knowledgeable and skillful defense of your charges and, if a conviction is inevitable, help work with you to reach a solution that minimizes the impact on your employment, your family and your life.

For your confidential consultation contact us online or phone Cardone at 504-522-3333.

More Blog Posts:

What to Do If You’re Injured By a Drunk Driver, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, Dec. 20, 2013
Driving with Distractions – Louisiana Texting Negligence, Louisiana Injury Lawyers Blog, May 9, 2013

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