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How do Ignition Interlock Devices Work?

DUI Breathlyzer test

In 2015, the Commonwealth of Kentucky introduced a law that permits certain drivers to have ignition interlock devices (IIDs) installed in their vehicles as a way to regain their driving privileges after being convicted of a DUI or even during a pre-trial suspension time period.  Read on to learn about how these devices work, how much they cost, and who qualifies to receive an IID, and speak with a lawyer for help with your DUI charges.

What is an IID, and how does it work?

An IID is a device installed in a vehicle’s ignition that requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before the vehicle can start. If the device detects that the driver is drunk, then the vehicle won’t start. You might be thinking, “Couldn’t the driver have someone else blow into the mouthpiece to start the car?” First, having someone else take the breath test would be a violation of the terms that the driver agreed to when they got the IID, and could result in a loss of their driving privileges. Second, the devices will make the driver take “running retests,” requiring that the driver pull over and take another test after they’ve started driving, making it more difficult to have someone else blow into the device to prevent a failed test.

How much does an IID cost?

Kentucky requires that those requesting an IID pay a non-refundable application fee of $105. The fees for the installation and maintenance of the device are paid to the provider of the device. Fees to install the devices range between $70-150, and IIDs also cost about $60-80 in monthly fees. Drivers can shop around among a list of state-approved IID vendors to find the best price.

Who is eligible for an IID?

Government officials will examine your five-year driving history to determine whether or not you’re eligible to receive an IID. Drivers with certain convictions on their records will be less likely to succeed in an application for an IID. These convictions include: murder or manslaughter from the operation of a vehicle, a DUI in something other than a motor vehicle, a felony involving a vehicle, three convictions for reckless driving in a 12-month period, conviction for a hit-and-run, and conviction for operating a motor vehicle without a license.

Once a driver has an IID installed, they must return to the installing company every 30 to 60 days to have the device maintained and to allow the company to download data from the device. Drivers may lose their driving privileges by:

  • Being found driving a vehicle without an IID installed
  • Reckless or unlawful operation of a motor vehicle that results in an accident causing injury, death, or property damage
  • Failing to report to the installation center as required
  • Having someone else blow into the IID to start the vehicle

For assistance with DUI charges in Kentucky, contact the skilled and knowledgeable Louisville DUI defense lawyer Ron Aslam for a consultation, at 502-581-1676.