If you have been arrested for DUI, you may find yourself up against penalties ranging from thousands of dollars in fines to months on probation. But what about restrictions on your license? In some cases, you may have to give up your driving privileges or have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle instead.

What exactly is an ignition interlock device? Similar to a breathalyzer, the driver must blow into the ignition interlock device so that it can take an estimated reading of their blood alcohol concentration. If they are above a certain limit—typically lower than the standard amount of .08—the vehicle won’t start. Periodic breath samples will also be required throughout the driver’s trip to ensure they didn’t fake the test results. Violations or tampering can result in additional fines, restrictions, and penalties.

Will I Have to Have an IID Installed in My Car?

You can have your license suspended for 9 months to 2 years for a misdemeanor DUI conviction. For many people, being without driving privileges can be extremely difficult. There are options for securing an early reinstatement of your license, however, they can come with certain restrictions.

An ignition interlock device gives a person the opportunity to get their license back, but does bring some serious burdens with it. For example, a first-time DUI offender can have the option to get an IID installed after having their license suspended for a certain number of months—shortening their suspension but adding restrictions, vulnerability for additional charges, and costs to their plate.

“Persistent Drunk Drivers” & IIDs

Not every person convicted of DUI or DWAI will be eligible to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. Some may have to serve out their full license suspension before getting their privileges back. In many cases, an IID will be required for a person who is considered a “persistent drunk driver” to get their driving privileges back.

This can include the following instances:

  • First DUI conviction with a BAC above .15
  • First DUI conviction if under previous driving restrictions
  • Any subsequent DUI conviction with a BAC above .15
  • Refusing a blood or berate test

You may also have the option to get your license back early by installing an IID if it has been suspended for refusing to take a chemical test—which can carry a one to three year suspension in some cases.

How to Avoid Having an 14IID Installed

While you do get restricted driving privileges back, an IID can be very expensive, as all the costs of installation and maintenance fall on you as the driver. That is why it is so important you fight your charges with the help of a seasoned Denver DUI defense attorney right away. When you have a skilled lawyer who has the skills to get your charges dropped or reduced, you can move forward in life rather than having to deal with a costly ignition interlock device.