You may be a new graduate, ready to roll into the next phase of your life with a new car. Perhaps you’re just looking to upgrade your SUV to the latest model. Normally, the hardest thing about buying a new (or new-to-you) car is the paperwork and choosing a color. But when you also have a car breathalyzer (ignition interlock) requirement after a DUI, those little things are probably the least of your worries at the dealership.
With your license reinstated, you likely have some type of “restricted” wording in place. This alerts the authorities about your driving status, and about your ignition interlock requirement. That means that anyone who sees your driver’s license, like the salesman at the dealership, is now responsible for whether or not you are allowed to drive. In some states, knowingly permitting a DUI offender to drive a non-ignition interlock equipped car can carry criminal charges. That’s the same law that says your friends shouldn’t let you borrow their cars, or they could be criminally charged. Essentially, when you have an ignition interlock requirement, there aren’t any legal ways around driving a vehicle without the device installed. That means no dealership test drives, no rental cars, and no borrowing your bestie’s wheels.
If you absolutely must get yourself a new vehicle and cannot wait until your ignition interlock requirement ends, your only choice is to rely on trusted family members or friends to test drive on your behalf. Once you’re satisfied and the vehicle is purchased in your name, you are immediately required to have an ignition interlock installed on the new car or you cannot drive it legally.
Buying a new car is an exciting event, and even if you have a few extra steps to take because of your ignition interlock device, it will be worth it. Committing to your recovery after a DUI means that once the device is removed, you get to enjoy your new car without restriction and with the responsibility of never driving under the influence again.