Can Failing An Ignition Interlock Device Test Land You In Jail?

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Can Failing An Ignition Interlock Device Test Land You In Jail?

17 August 2017
 Categories: , Blog


Depending on your state's laws and the level of offense, you might be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car. The device helps to keep you from driving while intoxicated. If you are required to have one installed, it is important that you understand what it could mean for your future.

What If You Fail the Breath Test?

Before your car will start and periodically while you are driving, you will be required to provide a breath sample to the ignition interlock device. Each test result becomes part of the device's data. If it is discovered upon reviewing the data that you failed a test, you could face serious consequences.

The punishment can vary, but you could face jail time, serious fines, and an extension of your probation. The time that your license is suspended could be extended. There is also the possibility that your license is revoked altogether.

It is important to note that an occasional false result can occur. If it does, it is imperative that you try the test again within a few minutes of failing. If you pass the subsequent breath test, you can argue that another factor outside of alcohol caused you to fail the first time. For instance, mouthwash can sometimes cause a false positive.

Can You Remove the Device?

Removing the ignition interlock device without approval could have serious consequences. For instance, if you are on probation, the court could choose to revoke it. Removing the device without being detected is almost impossible. Some devices send alerts as soon as they are tampered with by an unauthorized person.

If you have completed all the terms of your punishment and want to have the device removed before the date required by the court, you can file a petition. If you are on probation, you can submit a request to your officer. Whether the request is approved will depend on certain factors, including if you committed any violations up to that point.   

If the date for removal that was set by the court has passed, you still cannot remove the device. It must be removed by an authorized person. Even though you have completed your sentence, you could be in trouble for doing so. Contact the company that put on the device to make a request to have it removed.

A DWI attorney can further explain the device and the possible criminal charges that could stem from misbehavior while it is installed on your car.