When it comes to drinking and driving, each state has the right to define its own laws and penalties for the crime. Even those states that are considered more lenient continue to find ways to improve their rank as a tough place to drink and drive. A big part of that tough stance is the ignition interlock policy when a person is convicted of or arrested for drunk driving. Make no mistake – all 50 states have some type of ignition interlock policy.
An ignition interlock device can make a big difference for everyone after a DUI.
There are two ways that an ignition interlock device can be applied is a penalty after a drunk driving arrest or conviction: administrative or judicial.
Administrative ignition interlock requirements are handled by the DMV or driver’s licensing agency in the state (the one that counts the points against your license). To reinstate your license after an arrest, you’ll need proof of your interlock installation in most cases.
Judicial ignition interlock requirements are handed down by a judge during your DUI court hearing. There are mandatory requirements you could face, even for a first-offense DUI without aggravating circumstances, depending on your state’s laws. Judges also have a certain amount of discretion in ordering more time with the device, depending on the DUI incident you committed.
It goes without saying that the best way to avoid an ignition interlock entirely is to never drink and drive. You’ll never have to face the administrative or judicial requirement, have to visit an interlock service provider or be under a legal microscope for any length of time. Besides, it is just a lot easier to not have to worry about whether your state (or the state you’re in at the time) has an interlock requirement, jail term or any consequences for drunk driving if you always remain sober behind the wheel.