Lexington drivers with multiple DUI charges within a five-year period face losing their driver’s privileges for a year or more, depending on the number of convictions. Multiple offenses mean heavy fines, hours of community service, and attendance at mandatory alcohol and substance abuse programs, all of which becomes an additional hardship without a driver’s license.
The Kentucky Legislature provides statutory relief from this dilemma, allowing drivers with multiple offenses the opportunity to have Ignition Interlock Device Systems installed in their vehicles.
How Ignition Interlock Device Systems Work
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has a list of approved Ignition Interlock Devices, which can be installed on your vehicle. Handheld and similar in size to a cell phone, the device connects to your car’s electrical system and works similar to a breathalyzer, measuring your breath alcohol content (BAC). If your breath alcohol content is measured as .02 or higher, the ignition interlock device will prevent your car from starting, keeping it in lockdown for anywhere from 10-30 minutes before allowing a retest.
Ignition interlock devices also allow for a “rolling retest.” While you are driving, an indicator will notify you that a retest is requested. While it won’t shut down your engine, the car horn sounds and the car lights flash if a measurement higher than the state maximum of .02 percent registers. You will have to pull over, shut off the ignition, and wait for the lockdown period to pass before being able to retest.
If approved for an ignition interlock device system, you will be responsible for the cost of installation and leasing the device. Installation prices vary, and monthly fees generally start at around $65.00. Kentucky statutes require your license to be imprinted with a notification of the requirement to use the ignition device, and require the device to be serviced and reset every 30 days.
Can I Be Approved for an Ignition Interlock Device?
If you have a driver’s license suspension for a second, third, or fourth DUI, you may request the option of having an ignition interlock device installed. If granted, the court may order your license suspension to be reduced by half the minimum period of revocation as mandated by law. Though the law states that your suspension cannot be reduced to less than a year, for those with suspensions lasting 16 months or longer, asking the court permission to drive with the ignition device may be a viable option. Once the license suspension period has passed, driving can resume, though the ignition device must be used for the minimum period of revocation. It’s important to note that during the time you are ordered to drive with the device, if you are caught driving without it your license will again be suspended, with no credit given for the period of suspension already observed.
If you have had multiple DUIs and are facing a long period of license suspension, not being able to drive to work, to do errands, or to take care of the needs of your family can be a big problem. Having an experienced DUI attorney request permission to use an ignition interlock device may be a solution to the problem, helping to ensure your license is reinstated sooner.