Driving while intoxicated is a dangerous decision that could cost you or someone else their life. Beginning in the 1980s, under pressure from MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), states began to crack down on those who overindulged before getting behind the wheel. 42 states (including Missouri) and the District of Columbia currently have laws requiring a mandatory license suspension for a first DUI/DWI offense. Missouri law mandates a license suspension of 90 days for a first offense, up to one year for a second offense, and up to 10 years for a subsequent offense.
While driver’s license suspensions are a fitting punishment for DUI/DWI offenses, this type of penalty often keeps hardworking people from getting to work and/or school. The emergence of ignition interlock technology has helped those with DWI convictions continue living their lives, while preventing them from driving while intoxicated. Today, every state has some kind of ignition interlock program for DUI/DWI offenders.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a handheld breathalyzer connected to a car’s ignition. When an ignition interlock device is installed, the vehicle will not be able to start until someone blows into the device, registering no blood alcohol content in the breath. Some IIDs are equipped with camera and GPS capability. However, you are not required to install a camera and/or GPS equipped IID unless the judge orders you to do so.
The driver incurs the cost of installation, lease, maintenance, and removal of the ignition interlock device. The cost varies depending on the type of IID you are required to install. On average, an ignition interlock device may cost about $75 a month. Financial assistance may be available for those who qualify.
Missouri Ignition Interlock Laws
Ignition interlock devices are required for repeat DWI offenders in Missouri. A first-time offender can choose to install the ignition interlock device to reinstate driving privileges. Those with a five- or 10-year revocation of driving privileges will be required to install an IID with a camera and GPS system.
All drivers with an ignition interlock device must have it serviced on a monthly basis. The IID manufacturer submits a monthly report detailing any violations. Keep in mind ignition interlock devices are extremely sensitive. Even the use of mouthwash has been known to register a blood alcohol content reading on an IID. If you receive a false positive on your ignition interlock device, consult a DWI defense attorney for advice.
Violating any of the rules associated with your ignition interlock device (such as failing to bring your vehicle in for maintenance) carries additional penalties. You may face fines, and your driving privileges could be revoked.
DWI Defense Attorneys in Kansas City, Missouri
If you have been charged with a DWI-related crime, speak to an attorney right away. Cornerstone Law Firm in Kansas City, Missouri boasts six experienced lawyers dedicated to DWI defense. To schedule a free initial consultation, call us or submit a contact request form on our website.