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What is an ignition interlock device?

Missouri residents who are convicted of driving while intoxicated can sometimes avoid the loss of their driving privilege by agreeing to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. Drivers who have already had their licenses suspended or revoked from a past DWI conviction may also be required to install an IID while seeking reinstatement of their driving privilege.

The IID is a breath-testing device that is connected to the ignition of a car. When a driver enters the vehicle, they must blow into the IID so that the machine can test their blood-alcohol content. If the IID determines that the driver has consumed alcohol, the car will not be able to start. In some cases, a driver will also be monitored through a camera and GPS system that is fitted to the IID.

A driver who has been ordered by the court to have an IID installed in their vehicle will be responsible for assuring that the device is in good working order. Once a month, the driver must visit a certified IID installer so that the machine can be checked and information from the machine can be used to create a report. If the driver is found to have tampered with the device in any way, the driver may have to keep the device in their vehicle for an additional period or be subject to other penalties.

In some cases, a defendant's agreement to install an IID is one part of a DWI plea deal that a lawyer is able to negotiate with the prosecution. By agreeing to a plea deal, the defendant may be able to avoid jail time for their charge and keep their future driving privilege. As every case is different, the information presented in this blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.

Source: Missouri General Assembly, "Missouri Revised Statutes", September 12, 2014

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Travis Noble is a graduate of the National College for DUI Defense at Harvard University, and he lectures at seminars nationwide on DWI/DUI topics. He is the lawyer whom other lawyers consult to defend their DWI clients. Most importantly, he has a track record of successfully defending some of the toughest DWI cases in Missouri and beyond.

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