If you're on probation for a DUI conviction, there's a chance that an ignition interlock device was used to keep you from driving drunk. These devices require you to blow into a breathalyzer before you can start your car, making it impossible if your blood alcohol level is too high. If you have one of these devices, you need to understand the following information.
You'll Be Paying For It...Literally
One thing that surprises many people in your position is that they have to pay for the ignition interlock. This typically costs around $70-$150 to install, with monthly fees topping $60-$80. Some states may have programs to help you fund this cost, however.
However, this is relatively inexpensive, as most people will only have to deal with them for six months to a year. Running the risk of going to prison by getting another DUI offense or suffering a heavy DUI fine makes these devices useful.
Interlock Devices Can't Be Used To Gauge Alcohol Consumption
Though ignition interlock devices do track when you blow positive, they aren't used as a method for tracking your alcohol consumption. After all, it's not illegal for you to drink alcohol, and the interlock device will have made it impossible for you to start your engine until you blow an appropriate level.
However, some DWI courts may take a zero tolerance stance to alcohol consumption. This is especially true if your ruling or probation required you drink no alcohol at all. As a result, it's best to simply stay away from alcohol completely while you have an ignition interlock device.
The Blood Alcohol Levels Tolerated Will Vary
When you are using an ignition interlock device, the blood alcohol levels that it will tolerate will depend on your state. This is important to remember, as some states have slightly higher blood alcohol levels than others.
That doesn't mean you should get in your car after drinking, thinking that you can fool it. However, it is important to remember if you happen to use mouthwash before using your car. Mouthwash may trigger a false reading and cause your ignition interlock device to register a false positive.
This information can help you live with an ignition interlock device and get through your probation period. Hopefully, it also teaches you an important lesson about drinking and driving or even inspires you to either cut down or quit drinking, if you truly have a problem.
For more information, contact local professionals like Boehmer Law.