An ignition interlock device is a mechanism that an individual may be required to install in their vehicle if they are convicted of a drunk driving charge. Wisconsin recognizes several different situations from which ignition interlock device orders may arise. While many individuals may have heard of these devices, not everyone may understand what the do and how they may burden the lives of those who are forced to use them.

Ignition interlock devices require drivers to blow breath into them in order to start their vehicles. The device is equipped with a means of assessing the breath sample for the presence of alcohol. If the device interprets the breath to contain prohibited concentrations of alcohol, the driver will not be able to start their vehicle.

These devices are mandated in certain drunk driving cases, such as when an individual’s blood alcohol concentration is at or above .15%, when they are a repeat offender, or when the refuse to submit to blood alcohol concentration testing at a traffic stop. Drivers who are forced to use them generally must cover the costs of their installation and must ensure that the devices meet standards set forth by both the state of Wisconsin and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

While the installation of an ignition interlock device may allow a driver to return to the road despite a prior DUI conviction, they can be costly and burdensome to use. Before accepting a conviction and the possible consequences that come with it, an Oshkosh resident facing a DUI charge may wish to discuss their legal options with a drunk driving and criminal defense attorney. This informational post does not offer its readers any legal guidance.