Want to know more about ignition interlock devices and their use in criminal law? Read on to see how criminal defense lawyers might counsel those charged with a DUI/DWI about this emerging technology.
An ignition interlock is often used in cases where someone accused of a DUI or similar traffic violation still wants to be able to drive. The ignition interlock device is basically like a breathalyzer test that's performed each time the user wants to start the engine of his or her vehicle. The machine requires a clean blood-alcohol level test in order to start the engine.
This seems straightforward, but some DUI defendants have had serious problems with ignition interlock. Here's some of what you need to know about the application and use of these devices.
Ignition interlock may require more different types of paperwork, even for eligible drivers. Drivers often need to get letters from the DMV or complete other transactions with state offices in order to use ignition interlock systems. Additional insurance may also apply. It's not as simple as just installing one of these devices in a vehicle. Complying with paperwork requirements can take time, and criminal defense lawyers may counsel defendants on how to plan for these eventualities. For example, this page from Nebraska's State Department of Transportation shows some of the paperwork that must go into ignition interlock application in that state.
Ignition interlock devices can cost hundreds of dollars to install and use -- and sometimes all of this cost gets pushed onto the plate of the DUI defendant. Criminal defense lawyers will go over an individual case thoroughly, and counsel clients about how to deal with the financial impact of using ignition interlock devices to comply with state law.
The real fact is that ignition interlock devices don't always work the way they should. Many manufacturers create diagnostic tests to make sure that the devices are calibrated properly, but malfunctions can still occur.
Some of the biggest problems happen when equipment may not be working correctly and a malfunction triggers what's called a 'lockout.' In lockout situations the driver is required to tow the vehicle back to the service center in order to get it inspected. In cases where this is not due to an actual violation, DUI defendants can often feel frustrated and unfairly penalized.
Those charged with a DUI/DWI or similar offense can talk to DWI attorneys, like those at Morales & Navarrete Attorneys at Law, about all the challenges they may face in securing transportation after dealing with restrictions on a license. Knowing more about ignition interlock helps them to make the best choices and access their rights under federal and state law.