Basic Facts about Ignition Interlock Devices

A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in Maryland can have legal, personal and financial consequences that can gravely impact a person’s daily life. For example, due to mounting pressure by the federal government and safety groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), many states – including Maryland – may require some drivers convicted of DUI to install Ignition Interlock devices in their vehicles.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An Ignition Interlock device is a piece of equipment that connects to a car’s ignition system. The device requires the driver of the vehicle to provide a breath sample before the engine will start. If the device detects a certain amount of alcohol on the driver’s breath, it will prevent the car from starting. The driver must also provide breath samples from time to time while the car is in motion to ensure that he is not impaired, this is called a rolling test.

Voluntary or Required Participation

Under some circumstances, a driver convicted of DUI in Maryland may be allowed to avoid a license suspension by volunteering to install an Ignition Interlock device in his car. In other circumstances, a court may require someone convicted of DUI to drive only vehicles in which an Ignition Interlock device has been installed. The amount of time a driver must use the interlock device depends on the circumstances of his case. In addition, a court may extend the amount of time a driver is required to participate if he violates any program rules or has any other driving related problems.

Use of the Device Can Be Costly

Participants in the Ignition Interlock program are responsible for all costs associated with the installation and maintenance of the device. Initial installation can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 and providers charge a monthly rental fee that is typically between $50 and $100. In addition, drivers must schedule monthly calibration sessions and are responsible for the expense of data collection from the device.

A DUI Attorney Can Help

If you or someone you love has been charged with driving under the influence, contact an experienced DUI attorney. A knowledgeable DUI lawyer can assess your case and help you protect your rights. For more information about what a DUI lawyer can do for you, contact an attorney today.

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