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New ignition interlock requirement went into effect earlier this month

Earlier this month, a new drunk driving law went into effect which will presumably help the state keep roadways safer. The law requires all drunk drivers to install ignition interlock devices on vehicles they drive. The requirement applies also to first-time offenders who have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more.

Under the prior law, those arrested for drunk driving were allowed to obtain a restricted license without having to use an ignition interlock device. Under the new law, though, any offender who wishes to drive must use ignition interlock—it isn’t an option. Ignition interlock devices may be applied for 15 days after an arrest, with license periods lasting at least 90 days for first-time offenders and 180 days for repeat offenders. 

The law was pushed by highway safety advocates like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, for obvious reasons, but really the law is not all bad for offenders. As we noted back in June, the law does impose stricter requirements for drunken driving offenders with lower blood alcohol concentrations, but will also likely result in more DWI offenders having the ability to drive while their license is suspended, albeit with the inconvenience of blowing into an ignition interlock device.

Those who face drunken driving charges, of course, should always work with an experienced attorney to build the strongest case possible, as well as to navigate any issues related to license suspensions. In a future post, we’ll look a bit more at what can be done with license suspensions in terms of advocacy.  

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