My Ignition Interlock Broke; What Do I Do?

My Ignition Interlock Broke; What Do I Do?Tennessee requires drivers to install an ignition interlock device when their driving privileges have been taken away after drinking and driving. During this suspension period, they must keep the interlock device properly installed inside their car. However, it is not unusual for these devices to break or become damaged, which leads to individuals wondering what they should do when this happens.

What is an ignition interlock device and what does it do?

An ignition interlock device, also called an IID, is a portable device that is installed inside a car. You breathe into the IID, and it determines if you have any alcohol in your system. If there is any alcohol detected, the car will not start.

In addition, IIDs may request that you blow into them during your drive to make sure that you are not drinking and driving. If any alcohol is found in your system, the car will turn off. An IID is assigned to drivers in Tennessee who have been convicted of DUI and wish to have a restricted license.

What do I do if my ignition interlock device breaks?

Ignition interlock devices are meant to withstand all types of conditions. They are typically tough devices that are hard to damage, but occasionally, they may break. For example, you may have been in a car accident, and the IID experienced impact and stopped working. When this happens, you are required to replace the device, and you are most likely responsible for paying for this replacement. However, you may get lucky to find out that the company that you bought your IID from offers a protection plan and will replace your device for free. If you opted out of this protection plan, you will need to pay the fee to replace it.

If you intentionally broke or damaged the IID, the company will most likely not cover the replacement costs at all. This will also look bad to the court. Therefore, you should never tamper or intentionally break the device under any circumstances.

While your IID is not working or being repaired, you should also refrain from driving someone else’s car. If you are caught driving another vehicle, there may be serious consequences.

Will the court know if I broke my own ignition interlock device?

People who are required to have an IID installed often try to bypass their device for various reasons. One of the most common reasons that attorneys often see is individuals experiencing an emergency and needing to start their vehicle after having a couple alcoholic beverages. However, these devices are meant to keep you off the road if you have been drinking, so it is your duty to comply with the device.

Most courts will not simply let you off the hook for a broken or damaged IID. In fact, if you argue that the device broke or malfunctioned on its own, there is a good chance that the judge will want to see proof of this. Therefore, you may be required to request a receipt from the repair shop that shows what exactly was wrong with your IID and what needed to be fixed.

How long is an ignition interlock device required to be installed?

The time limit that you must have your IID varies from person to person. Every case is unique and different. Therefore, depending on your circumstances, you may be required to have the IID for a couple months or an entire year. If your drinking while driving incident was severe, you can expect to have the IID for a long period of time.

How do I have my ignition interlock device removed?

If you are ready to have your IID removed, you first must be approved. You cannot simply decide one day that you no longer want the device and have it taken off. In addition, an approved company or manufacturer must remove the device. Some of the most popular companies that create, install, and remove IIDs in Tennessee are Alcohol Detection Systems, Draeger, Intoxalock, LifeSafer, Simple Interlock, and Smart Start. When the terms of your IID program are up, you can contact your company and they will remove the device for you.

Some individuals may be able to remove their IIDs early if they comply with the rules of the device for a certain amount of time. If you are eligible for early IID removal, you will need to show proof to the company and let them know that you are ready to have your device removed.

If you are wondering how long it will take to have your IID removed, this process is usually very fast. As a matter of fact, most people are in and out within 30 minutes. All you need to do is give the company your paperwork showing that it is time for your IID to be removed, and they will safely remove the device with no damage to your car. After the device is completely removed, you will never be able to tell that you had an IID installed.

If the court gave you a restricted license, you must present an unrestricted license (or present an “Interlock Restriction Release Form” to the installer before the company will remove the IID.

Keep in mind that the removal of the IID is not free. You will likely pay a small fee to have the device removed. If you are curious about this fee, you should call the company beforehand to find out this information.

The Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler can help you with all legal issues related to your DUI. We have handled countless DUI cases and cannot express enough how important it is to hire a skilled DUI lawyer who knows how to act quickly and efficiently. Once our Franklin DUI attorneys receive the facts of your case, we will begin working hard to stand up for your rights and secure the best results possible. Were you arrested for DUI in Tennessee? Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Franklin, Columbia, or Brentwood.

Related Content: