Key Facts About Ignition Interlock Devices and Nevada DUI Laws
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Getting a DUI is tough enough without the added stress of having your license suspended. Getting to and from work or school or even going grocery shopping becomes a stressful event and can cost you financially as well. But there is one way that Nevada will allow you to drive while you’re still serving your sentence for DUI.
It’s called an ignition interlock device (IID) or a breath interlock device. This small device is placed in a vehicle and will prevent your car from starting if it detects any alcohol on your breath. This device allows you to drive with a restricted license to go to and from work or school while still serving your sentence for DUI.
Over the years the courts have realized that people charged with DUI still need to get to and from work or school to make money to pay bills and even pay their fines to the court. Since losing your license is a hardship for most this is the compromise that can allow you to drive.
There are very specific rules that apply to have an IID installed in your vehicle.
A knowledgeable DUI lawyer will work with the court to get the ignition interlock device as an option after your DUI charge.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device and How Do They Work?
Ignition interlock devices are small and no bigger than the average cell phone. They are installed by a state-certified IID expert into a vehicle’s steering column near the ignition. They have a small house with a mouthpiece that you blow into every time you go to start your car.
Once you blow into the device it will use a computer to register your BAC (blood alcohol content).
If there is no alcohol detected by the device, your car will start. However, if the device detects any BAC of .02% or higher, the device will disable the car from starting because you are considered under the influence of alcohol.
Once the car starts and you get going, you will be issued a warning for you to provide a “rolling test.”
This test takes place while driving and is to ensure you’re not driving under the influence.
Usually within the first 15 minutes of starting your drive and then again at 45-minute intervals.
You usually have a six-minute period to take the test once the IID asks for a sample.
If you don’t take the test your car will not just stop running but the IID will register a failed test.
What Happens if I Fail an IID Test
The ignition interlock device keeps a log of all failed breath tests within your device. When your IID is serviced or you go for your required check-in at the certified provider, the log will be downloaded and given to the court.
The court has a wide range when it comes to how it responds to failed IID tests.
If there is an innocent explanation for the failure there may be no penalties. However, failed IID tests will most likely increase the time you will have to keep the IID in your vehicle.
If the failed tests occur within the last four months of your sentence, the judge can increase your sentence and use of the IID by up to 50%.
If you have been ordered to abstain from alcohol use by the court and fail an IID test then you could end up in jail.
How Long Do I Need an Ignition Interlock Device
Depending on your charges will be the determining factor in how long you’re required to have an interlock device in your car. For example:
- Misdemeanor DUI with a BAC of .18% or lower: The IID requirement is 185 days
- Misdemeanor DUI with a BAC of .18% or higher: The IID requirement is 12 to 36 months
- Felony DUI, DUI causing injury or death: The IID requirement is 12-36 months
You have the ability to drive immediately after the device is placed in your vehicle. IIDs must be placed in all vehicles you plan on driving during your license suspension.
Do I Have to Put One in All My Vehicles
Yes. You are required to put an IID in every car or motorcycle you drive regardless of whether or not you own the vehicle.
If you drive a company vehicle you may be able to drive without an IID if:
- There is written notification the employer was notified of your IID restriction, and
- The written notice is kept with the work vehicle at all times, and
- The company vehicle is NOT a commercial vehicle
This is also the reason why if you are required to drive for work, you cannot hide a DUI from an employer.
Written proof can be the court order that was signed by the employee, or it could be a letter from an employer aware of the restriction.
How Do I Get an IID Device
Once you are required to get an IID device installed in your car, you must go to a certified interlock device provider.
These certified providers are certified by the Nevada Committee on Testing for Intoxication. You can also find this information on the DMV site. The court will also provide you with a list of certified dealers.
The certified providers can install, check, repair, and remove breath interlock devices.
You must provide proof of IID installation to the Nevada DMV.
How Much Does an Ignition Interlock Device Cost
IID’s usually cost about $150 to install and $100 per month to maintain.
The defendant is solely responsible for all the costs associated with having an ignition interlock device in their car.
You must get your IID inspected by the certified provider or manufacturer on a regular basis.
The inspection time depends on your DUI conviction,
- Felony DUI: inspection every 90 days
- Misdemeanor DUI with a BAC of .18% or higher: inspection every 90 days
- Misdemeanor DUI with a BAC of .018% or lower: one time
What Are the Penalties for Not Using an Ignition Interlock Device
If you drive without an IID device installed in your car after being court-ordered to do so is a misdemeanor with additional penalties:
- 30 days to 6 months in jail, or
- 60 days to 6 months of home confinement and $500 to $1000 in fines
In addition, the DMV will revoke your license for three years. If you drive without an IID again you will lose your license for five years.
On a side note; you are the only person allowed to blow into your device. If someone else blows into it for you the penalties are:
- Up to 6 months in jail, and /or
- Up to $1000 in fines
Can I Get Out of the Ignition Interlock Device Requirement
In Nevada, you might be able to get out of the IID requirement if you are convicted of a first-time DUI.
You can also prove that the IID would cause undue hardship. The grounds for an undue hardship case are:
- You are unable to provide a deep lung sample and this is confirmed by a doctor
- You live at least 100 miles from an IID manufacturer or agent
- Maintaining and installing an IID device would cause you an economic hardship
- Your car is necessary to travel for work or to obtain medicine, food, necessities, or health care for your immediate family.
Items three and four are the most commonly used defenses used to try and get out of having an IID device.
How Do I Reinstate My Suspended License in Nevada
Once your suspension time has passed you can have your IID removed and your license reinstated. You need to have paid all your fines and penalties before you can get your license back.
You will also need SR-22 insurance for up to three years ( proof of financial responsibility)
You’ll need to pay a reinstatement fee and go to the DMV to get a new license.
You may have to take the written DMV skills tests again. Each case is different.
The Defenders, DUI experts
The Defenders are Nevada’s DUI attorneys to call with many years of experience defending against DUI charges.
Call today for a case review, we will go over all aspects of your DUI case including the ignition interlock device and all other penalties associated with DUI charges.
DUI cases are stressful and can impact your life in many ways.
Always have a defense team on your side to help resolve your case in a timely manner to get you back on track as soon as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I need to have an ignition interlock device in my car?
It depends on the severity of your DUI. This can range from 6 months for a first-time misdemeanor DUI and up to three years for a felony DUI.
Is there any way to avoid getting an IID installed in my car?
No, if you are court-ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed you must comply with the order. There may be situations where you can prove undue hardship and be exempt from having an IID installed in your car.
Can I drive someone else’s car if it doesn’t have an ignition interlock device?
No, if you are court-ordered to have an IID installed in your car, you must not drive any other vehicle without one. You can be subject to penalties if caught driving someone else’s car without an IID.
Can I rent a car and drive it if it doesn’t have an IID?
No, you cannot rent a car and drive it without an IID because the vehicles they rent out will most likely not have an ignition interlock device. If you are court-ordered to have an IID installed in your car, then you would not meet this requirement. Since rental companies are private entities and if they don’t automatically run your driving history, you may be able to drive, but this is also against the court mandate. It’s like using someone else’s car in order to avoid the IID requirement. You would be in violation of your court order and could face penalties if caught.
Do I need to pay for the installation or calibration of my IID?
Yes, you are responsible for the cost of installation and calibration. If you cannot afford to pay for these services then there may be programs available in your area that can help cover the costs.
Do I need to get my ignition interlock device serviced or inspected?
Yes, it is important to get your IID serviced regularly by a licensed service provider. This ensures that the device is working correctly and you are following the court order. This is usually once every 90 days.
What will happen if I don’t comply with my ignition interlock device order?
If you do not comply with your IID order you may face additional fines and penalties including jail time, increased license suspension or revocation, and increased fees. You will also have to restart the entire ignition interlock program.