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What role does an IID play in a drunk driving case?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2024 | DUI

Drunk driving is a very serious social issue. State governments often enact a variety of different rules trying to deter drunk driving and to punish those caught driving while under the influence. There are numerous penalties possible in drunk driving cases, including license suspension, incarceration and financial penalties, including fines and licensing fees.

In some cases, an ignition interlock device (IID) can also be part of a drunk driving case. What role do IIDs play in impaired driving cases?

They help monitor those convicted

An IID is essentially a chemical breath test device installed in a motor vehicle. A driver has to pass a breath test before they can even turn their vehicle on. They may have to pass tests as they continue driving as well. The records of their tests are available to state authorities for evaluation. Failing tests can lead to longer IID requirements, while consistently passing them can help demonstrate that someone has regularly driven while sober.

Every state has slightly different rules for IID programs, including North Dakota and Minnesota. In North Dakota, the state can order someone to install an IID in their vehicle when they face repeat drunk driving charges or had a particularly high level of alcohol in their bloodstream at the time of their arrest.  Drivers can regain partial driving privileges by installing an IID.

In Minnesota, the rules are slightly different. Anyone convicted of a second drunk driving offense within ten years of the first or a third offense must install an IID. Complying with IID requirements is part of the process of regaining a driver’s license.

In both states, drivers could face the loss of their driving privileges and other penalties if they get caught driving a vehicle without an IID installed or attempting to trick the IID. Compliance with IID requirements helps establish a history of safe and sober driving. While people do have to pay to install and maintain IIDs in their vehicles, doing so is often preferable to serving a lengthy suspension during which they cannot drive at all.

Understanding the possible penalties for a drunk driving charge can give people the incentive they need to defend against those allegations. IIDs are only one of numerous potential consequences for those who plead guilty.