What Constitutes an Interlock Violation?

By Gracie Sprouse
Close-up of a car key in the ignition slot

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Ignition interlock devices are used by many states to help provide a means of keeping intoxicated drivers off the streets and highways. An interlock is usually required when a driver has excessive convictions for driving while intoxicated or under the influence. Interlock violations have serious consequences, which can include revoking the privilege to drive. Violations are reported to the courts, and appropriate actions are taken.

Tampering With the Device

A violation is registered in the interlock system if the driver tampers with the device. Any attempt to disconnect or bypass the device registers at the service agency office. Attempts to remove the interlock will also register. In either case, a complete suspension of the driver's privilege to use the interlock device will result. The violation will be reported to the court, and the proper sentencing will take place.

Failing or Missing Retests

Anytime the driver starts the vehicle, he is subject to retests while the vehicle is being operated. Missing or failing a retest two times within one service period will result in a violation. If the driver registers a blood alcohol content of between .02 and .05 twice in one service period will also result in a violation. A retest may also be done if the blood alcohol content is less than .02. If a driver registers from .02 to anything under .05, a retest must be taken within 5 minutes. If the retest is failed, a lock-out may occur.

Testing at .05 or Higher

Attempting to start a vehicle and registering at .05 or higher on the interlock device is an automatic violation. When a high reading is registered, the device may lock. If it locks, the driver has 48 hours to report to the service agency. If the driver fails to report, the service agency will have the vehicle towed and brought to its garage at the driver's expense. A lock-out may also result in a 10-year suspension of driving privileges.

Monthly Service Appointments and Payments

As long as the interlock system is installed in the vehicle, the driver must report to the service agency on a monthly basis. Appointment times are usually preset for the next month at each visit. If a driver fails to report, a violation will be noted. After the initial installation and payments are made, a monthly service fee must be paid. The monthly fee is paid to the service agency. Failure to make these payments will result in a violation.

About the Author

Gracie Sprouse has been writing professionally since 1976. Her areas of expertise are in antiques, crafts, real estate, income taxes and small businesses. Her education consists of an Associate of Applied Science with a business and accounting major from Piedmont Virginia Community College.

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