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The basics of ignition interlocks

In Hawaii, motorists convicted of drunk driving have the option of having an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. These devices will allow the motorist to be able to operate their vehicles during the period that their licenses are suspended, provided the meet certain requirements. In this post, we discuss how these devices work, as well as the other important details that you need to know regarding interlocks should you be facing DUI charges. 

How do interlocks work?

Interlocks allow a motorist to start a vehicle if they have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) below 0.02 percent. The motorist must blow into a tube connected to the device when attempting to start their car, and register that they are below the 0.02 percent limit. The device takes a photo of the person blowing into it as well, and records this data. If an attempt is made to circumvent the interlock, it can result in much more serious penalties for the motorist.

If the person is below the limit, the vehicle will start. At random points in time, the motorist will again need to blow into the interlock to keep the vehicle operational. If the driver is above 0.02 percent when these random checks are performed, the vehicle will shut down.

How much does an interlock cost?

The main costs associated with the device concern the installation of the interlock and then the monthly monitoring fees. If you are convicted and opt to have an interlock in your vehicle, you are responsible for paying the installation and monitoring costs. Over time, these fees can add up to well over $1000 in total.

What are the advantages to having an interlock?

As part of a DUI case, your driver's license may be suspended for a significant period of time. If you have an interlock installed, you will be able to keep driving while your license is suspended. This can be a huge benefit to you and your family, as it will allow you to continue to drive, run errands, pick up the kids and any other tasks that you need to do without having to ask someone for a ride. It is extremely helpful.

Are there disadvantages to installing the device?

Some people may not be able to afford the installation and other fees connected to the device. It may mean that they are unable to stay on the road if they are eventually convicted of DUI.

Additionally, there may also be social costs to having an interlock in a vehicle. For example, if a motorist is responsible for driving others around, they may be somewhat reluctant to ride with the driver if he or she needs to blow into the interlock to operate the vehicle. Parents may not want their kids playing with your kids if you are going to be driving with their kids in the car. 

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