IID often follows drunk driving charge in Wisconsin

Law enforcement officials in Wisconsin often have a strong desire to keep drivers who are under the influence of alcohol off the roadways. While this is understandable, accusations of drunk driving can have significant consequences. For example, many first-time and repeat offenders are often required to have an ignition interlock device installed.

The purpose of this device is to prevent people who are under the influence of alcohol from driving on the roadways. Under current Wisconsin law, those convicted of drunk driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or higher and repeat offenders are required to install an IID. The device is mounted on the vehicle’s dash, and the person must “hum and blow into the mouthpiece.” If the person’s BAC is lower than 0.02, the car will start, and he or she can begin driving.

However, drivers are subject to rolling retests several minutes after the car is started. The driver can complete this test while still driving or after pulling over. If the person’s BAC is over .02, the lights on the car will start flashing and the horn and an alarm goes off. The purpose of the rolling retest is to prevent people from having someone else complete the test that allows the vehicle to start.

Though an IID can allow a person convicted of drunk driving to remain driving — potentially allowing them to keep working — they are not without consequences. For example, a person with an IID must pay a fee of $85 a month and take it to be calibrated every 60 days. If this does not happen, the vehicle will be locked, and the driver will have to pay a fee to have it unlocked. While a person facing accusations of driving under the influence of alcohol may feel that they have few options, there are some available to them. An attorney with experience with such cases in Wisconsin can make sure that defendants fully understand all of the paths open to them.