If you are convicted of DWI in North Carolina, your driver’s license could be suspended for 30 days for a first conviction and for longer for a subsequent conviction or failure to consent to a breathalyzer test at the time you were arrested. Losing your ability to drive can have long-term consequences on your ability to work and your ability to get where you need to go. In order to get your driving privileges restored, the court could require you to install an interlock ignition device.
What Is an Interlock Ignition Device?
An interlock ignition device is an alcohol-testing device that attaches to your dashboard and is similar to what is used to administer a breathalyzer test. You cannot turn on your vehicle until you blow into the device, and it measures your blood alcohol content. If it registers any level of alcohol, your ignition will not start. It also requires you to take the test at random times when you are driving. If you fail the test, your vehicle will shut down. In order to restart it, you would need to contact the system’s provider to reset it.
When Is an Ignition Interlock Device Required?
If this is a first offense DWI, you probably will not be required to install an ignition interlock device. However, the court would order it installed in these situations:
- You were convicted of DWI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 0.15 percent.
- You were convicted of more than one DWI during a seven-year period.
Who Pays for Installation and Maintenance of This Device?
Unfortunately, you must pay for the installation and monthly rental and maintenance fees for the ignition interlock device and must obtain it from a court-approved facility. This can be costly over time.
Have you been charged with DWI in Charlotte? Call us or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced DWI attorneys. We will be happy to discuss your case with you and how we can help ensure that the penalties you face are as minor as possible.