If a police officer in Missouri arrests you because they suspect you of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense, you may lose your driving privileges or even your freedom depending on the circumstances at the time of your arrest. Eventually, you will be able to get your driver’s license back, but there is often a requirement to install an ignition interlock device (IID) to regain driving privileges.
An IID is a breath test device in your vehicle that can prevent you from starting the vehicle after drinking and that will maintain a record of each test that you perform. First-time DWI offenders can install an IID in their vehicle to reduce the duration of their license suspension, while those with prior offenses frequently need to install an IID to obtain restricted driving privileges or regain their licenses.
What happens when the courts order you to install an ignition interlock device?
You have to pay for the device and its maintenance
An IID may be designed for consumer use, but it is still a scientific instrument that requires frequent inspection and calibration to ensure it works properly. In some cases, drivers may need to install an IID that has a camera to prove they are the one performing the test and also a GPS component to track where they drive.
Even the most basic IID will prevent someone from starting their vehicle if they have alcohol on their breath and can sporadically request testing once someone started the vehicle. It can cost hundreds of dollars annually to have an IID in your vehicle, but the alternative is not driving at all, which can cost more.
You cannot drive other vehicles
For as long as you have restricted driving privileges, you can legally only operate a motor vehicle with an IID installed. If a police officer pulls you over in a different vehicle, you might face arrest and the loss of your restricted driving privileges. Although it can be somewhat embarrassing and also expensive to have an IID in your vehicle, having limited driving privileges is almost always a better and more affordable solution than having no license whatsoever.
Learn more about the consequences of a DWI charge, including Missouri’s IID requirements, can help you decide what to do after an arrest for an alleged impaired driving offense.