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Monday, April 28, 2014

DUI Law and Ignition Interlock in Georgia

Repeat DUI offenders in Georgia may be able to regain some independence after a driver’s license suspension with an “ignition interlock.”  Here are answers to your basic questions about how ignition interlock devices work in Georgia:

How does Ignition Interlock work?
Ignition interlock is a device that connects to the vehicle’s ignition system and prevents someone from driving under the influence of alcohol.   The driver cannot start the car until he or she submits a breath sample below the legal BAC limit.  Ignition interlock devices are designed to prevent false breath samples, for example, pressure and temperature sensors prevent users from using a balloon to discharge air into the device as breath a sample. 
The ignition interlock also randomly requests additional breath samples while the driver is operating the vehicle to ensure that the driver remains below the legal limit.  If the driver fails a breath test while driving, the ignition interlock device will activate the horn and lights continually until the driver submits a clean breath sample, or turns off the car.

Can Ignition Interlock Users Drive Anywhere?
There are usually driving restrictions associated with ignition interlock use.  Typically, ignition interlock users are allowed to drive to obligations such as work, school, alcohol/substance abuse treatment and ignition interlock maintenance appointments. 

Where can I buy an Ignition Interlock?
The Georgia Department of Driver Services maintains a list of Ignition Interlock providers on its web site (click here to see the list).  

How Much Does Ignition Interlock Cost?
The initial cost to lease and install the device varies by service provider, plus there is required monthly maintenance that normally costs between $60-$90.  Offenders are responsible for all costs associated with the device including installation, leasing, maintenance and removal.  If you cannot afford the costs associated with ignition interlock, you may petition the court for financial assistance.

What Happens if I Don’t Service my Ignition Interlock?
Ignition interlock devices must be serviced and calibrated at specific intervals.  Users who do not comply with maintenance requirements may not be able to start their vehicle under any circumstance, and may need to have their car towed to an ignition interlock service provider at their own expense.

Am I Eligible to Regain Some Independence with an Ignition Interlock Device?
Georgia DUI laws require courts to order the installation and maintenance of ignition interlock devices.  Contact me today if you have been charged with a DUI in Georgia and want to learn more about your options, including how you may benefit from ignition interlock. 

For more information on this topic, contact Christopher Chapman at cchapman@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-389-4864.  Prior to his admission to the bar, Christopher spent six years in law enforcement. His experience included training and service in the DUI Task Force/ Heat Unit, Serious Accident Investigations and Special Operations.  Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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