If your driving under the influence (DUI) charge sticks, you may be surprised at the wide array of punishments in store. Even first-time offenders may end up paying thousands of dollars, having to take various classes and attend counseling, and being placed on probation for months. Stopping offenders from getting behind the wheel while intoxicated is of prime importance to those meting out the punishment. One such measure involves a driver having to use an ignition interlock device for several months after a conviction for DUI. To find out more about these devices, read on.
Court-Ordered Driving Restrictions
Most people need to be able to drive to their jobs and to care for their families. Not everyone lives in an area that boasts good pubic transportation. Unfortunately, just being arrested for DUI can bring about the loss of driving privileges. For some offenders, a hardship license may be an option. Your DUI attorney may request a hearing, at which your ability and need for this license will be determined. If approved, you may be allowed to drive only during certain hours of the day, days of the week, or to certain destinations. For example, you might be able to drive your children to school, go to the grocery store, and drive to work. As a further deterrent to drinking and driving, you might also be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
Living With an Ignition Interlock Device
In the past, DUI offenders could expect to have their driving privileges removed for a period of time. Unfortunately, those who persist in drinking and driving might find themselves before the judge repeatedly regardless of the lack of a driver's license. With an ignition interlock device, drivers are unable to start their vehicles unless they are sober. These devices are wired to a vehicle's ignition, and the car will start only after the offender blows into a tube. The device is similar to a breathalyzer used at roadside stops. When no alcohol is detected, the car will start. After the driver has driven a distance, the device must be re-initialized. When alcohol is detected, not only will the vehicle not start, but the findings are sent to the offender's probation officer. As mentioned above, the financial impact of a DUI is considerable, and ignition interlock devices are quite expensive. You might pay hundreds to have the device installed and then hundreds each month for the monitoring.
Dealing with the multiple issues of a DUI can be overwhelming. Speak to a criminal law attorney for help with your case as soon as possible.