Drivers who are facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Alabama have an important option they can use to help their situation: installing an ignition interlock system. The state of Alabama became the 50th state to enact legislation for DUI that involved the use of the ignition interlock system back in 2012.
The installation of an ignition interlock system helps drivers charged for DUI reduce their suspension sentence and allows them to drive so long as they use the system appropriately. The goal of this system is to reduce the number of drunk and impaired drivers on the roads in Alabama. Today, we will take a look at the inner workings of the ignition interlock system and when it may be required for those arrested for DUI in Alabama.
How and When Ignition Interlock Devices are Installed
Your initial DUI offense will not necessarily lead to the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. However, the more offenses involving DUI that you accrue, the more likely it is that the state of Alabama will require you to install the device in your car. Drivers are also allowed to enter themselves into the program of their own volition, so long as they are eligible, in an effort to avoid the suspension of their driver’s license.
The length of the device being installed in your car is as follows:
- 1st DUI conviction and voluntary entrance into program: 90 days
- 2nd conviction: must serve 45 days of license suspension and then install the device
- 3rd conviction: must serve 60 days of license suspension and then install the device
- 4th or subsequent conviction: must serve one year of license suspension and then install the device
- Refusal: one year is added to any suspension and to the device term, except on your first conviction
There are exceptions to the rule when it comes to having the ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. There could be time added to the penalty levied against you for any of the following:
- If a passenger in the vehicle at the time of the offense was under the age of 14
- If you refused the mandatory chemical (e.g., breathalyzer) test after your DUI arrest
- If you were involved in a crash that led to an injury
- If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was higher than .15
Alabama Interlock Installation Process
The judge will start the Alabama interlock installation process, whether it has been imposed on you or you have voluntarily elected to enter into the program, by signing an order that is then submitted to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. The next step is for you to have an approved device installed in your vehicle and then obtain a restricted driver’s license by paying the fee. Should you commit any violations during your interlock device term, six more months will be added to your term. Violations include any of the following:
- Any tampering or bypassing of the interlock device
- Failure to have the device serviced or calibrated every 30 days during the terms of your interlock device program
- Any breath sample at .02 or higher that is recorded four or more times during any month of your program
What Does the Ignition Interlock Device Do?
Once a driver enters into the system, the ignition interlock device will be wired into the electrical system of their vehicle. The first time the driver wants to operate their vehicle they will need to blow into a breathalyzer that is connected to the device. If the driver has any alcohol in their system or blows over the number that was set in the system, the device will not allow the vehicle to start. In Alabama, if you register .02 or higher, your vehicle will not start until you blow under that number. While driving, the device will request retests. If you fail a retest, an alarm system will activate until you stop operating the vehicle.
Call to Schedule an Appointment with an Attorney Today
Are you facing DUI charges in Mobile, Alabama? A consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney will help ease your situation and help you understand the options you have when it comes to keeping your driving privileges. Call the office of Darley Law in Mobile today at 251-441-7772 to schedule a consultation with our trusted and knowledgeable team. We will be able to examine your case and determine if you are eligible for the Alabama ignition interlock system.