What Is An Ignition Interlock Device?

Drivers who are convicted of a DUI in Kentucky are sometimes subject to having an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. Other times, these devices allow drivers to return to the road after having driving privileges revoked from a previous conviction. But what exactly is an ignition interlock device, and how does it work?

An ignition interlock device requires a driver to blow into it before hitting the road and keeps a vehicle from starting if the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level exceeds 0.02.

Drivers who are convicted of a second DUI offense are required to install these devices, according to a 2015 law. First-time offenders are not required to install an ignition interlock device unless there is an aggravating circumstance. These circumstances can include speeding or driving drunk with a minor in the vehicle.

Ignition interlock devices and restored driving privileges

Eligibility for receiving an ignition interlock device is based on an individual’s five-year driving history, but there are a host of factors that may cause someone to be ineligible for an ignition interlock device. Some of the factors that could impact eligibility include, but are not limited to:

  • Felony in which the motor vehicle was used
  • Conviction of a hit and run
  • Conviction of three reckless driving charges within a 12-month period
  • A conviction for fraudulent use of a driver’s license to attempt or successfully purchase alcoholic beverages
  • Murder or manslaughter from the operation of a vehicle

Installing the device

Kentucky charges a $105 application processing fee for anyone who applies for an ignition interlock device. Installation of an ignition interlock device is only required on a primary vehicle, but applicants can choose to install them on other vehicles as well. It is worth noting that the holder of an ignition interlock license is only authorized to drive a vehicle with a device installed.

Kentucky offers a number of authorized vendors who can install the device. The device must be installed within 30 days of receiving the court order and you must be driven to the appointment by another licensed driver.

Once it is installed, anyone can drive the vehicle as long as they comply with the device requirements. You will be required to return to the installation center every 30 to 60 days for monitoring and so data can be downloaded and reported to the DMV. Failure to follow program guidelines can make you subject to removal.

If you are facing conviction for a DUI charge and would like to apply for an ignition interlock device in order to keep your driving privileges, talk to a criminal defense attorney who can work on your case and help you through the eligibility process. These devices may seem like a hassle, but they allow those convicted of a DUI to continue driving and move on from their lives after a mistake.