Penalty For Violation Of Ignition Interlock Device

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Violating an ignition interlock device is a serious offense and includes removing, bypassing, tampering with, or removing the device. Tampering with an ignition interlock device (IID) is a criminal offense. Criminal activity may affect your driving privileges.

This article reviews the penalties for ignition interlock violations. The penalties for drunk driving can be severe and scary, and you may worry about being arrested.

If you have a court-ordered ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle, you should know that failure to comply with those requirements can result in additional penalties, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time. . O’clock.

These penalties vary by state, so contact a DUI attorney if you are unsure where you live.

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer device that connects to a vehicle’s ignition system. Before the driver can start the car, he must first blow into the device. If your blood alcohol level exceeds a certain limit, you cannot start the car.

This means that even if you drink alcohol before driving, you should not drink alcohol and drive, thereby endangering yourself and others. 

People who drink only once every few months may not experience ignition interlock problems because it takes more than two drinks to reach the legal limit. You also have time to wake up between drinks. 

However, anyone who drinks many drinks at once or regularly may suffer from the effects of this device, as the effects will occur regardless of how long it has been since the last drink. 

Installation of the ignition interlock device is permanent. This means that the device cannot be removed from the vehicle for any reason, including emergencies such as fire damage or recovery from theft.

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How does an ignition interlock device work?

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer device that prevents a person who has been drinking from starting their car. The device requires individuals to provide a breath sample before and periodically while driving a vehicle. 

If your blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds the specified limit, your vehicle will not start. The driver should blow into the device periodically to provide another BAC reading and continue driving. These devices are currently used in a variety of situations and are also required after drunk driving incidents.

Common Penalties for Ignition Interlock Violations: An Overview

If you’ve ever read the facts about ignition interlock devices, you’ll know that IID violations are punishable. The consequences of drunk driving are very real and can change your life. 

If you are convicted of drunk driving, the court requires that you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This is because the crime was committed while driving a vehicle. 

Installing an ignition interlock device requires you to blow on the vehicle before starting it to prove that you are not under the influence of alcohol. It is important to note that if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test after being stopped by law enforcement, your license will automatically be suspended for several months. 

There are also other influences. For example, if you violate conditions set by the court (such as drinking with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 or more), you can be fined and even jailed.

First violation of the ignition interlock device

A first-time ignition interlock violation is a person who has been convicted of drunk driving and has been ordered by the court to install an ignition interlock device.

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Failure to comply with this order may result in a first offense charge, which could result in several months in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both, depending on state law.

Secondary ignition violation

A second DUI offense may result in an ignition interlock device being installed on your vehicle.

If this limit is exceeded, the vehicle will not start. Anything below the limit will require random retesting every time you get behind the wheel again. 

A second offense carries more severe penalties and violators could face up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

3rd offense ignition interlock device violation

If you are convicted of a third DUI, you must install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

You will need to install and maintain the device for several years before you can get your driver’s license back. Failure to comply may result in imprisonment or fines. 

4th violation of the ignition interlock device

A fourth offense carries potential penalties, including imprisonment and other applicable penalties associated with the fourth conviction.

Some of these penalties include losing your driving privileges, having your vehicle impounded, or having your vehicle frozen for up to 90 days.

Identity tampering offenses in some states

The penalties for drunk driving are well known, but what are the consequences of tampering with your ignition interlock device?

What happens if I drive without the IID installed properly, or if the IID is tampered with when installed?

Again, violations vary by country. Colorado and California:


In Colorado, IID interference is prosecuted as a first-degree misdemeanor. People who help operate these devices can also be charged with a crime, regardless of whether they have personal identification or not.

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In this case, the first category offense can result in severe penalties. Anyone found guilty of identity tampering could face up to 18 months in prison and a fine of around $5,000.

Operating this device may affect your driver privileges. This is especially true if you have been convicted of drunk driving.

The court will likely revoke the restricted license and extend the suspension period. Additional fines may apply.


The California Attorney General can charge drivers with a misdemeanor if they violate a valid IID order.

Drivers can face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. There may also be consequences related to your driving privileges, such as revocation of your restricted driver’s license.

Finally, regarding the penalties for violating the ignition interlock device.

Ignition interlock devices are a valuable resource in the fight against drunk driving. If you are found guilty of violating ignition interlock restrictions, you may face severe penalties, including fines and prison. 

Avoid these penalties by staying sober and preventing drunk driving. To ensure your safety, always bring a private driver when drinking alcohol.

If you have been convicted of a DUI case, seek professional advice from a licensed DUI attorney immediately. They can review your case and suggest steps to help you win.

About the Author

Lauren McDowell is a content marketing strategist at Interlock Install, a Phoenix-based company that handles ADS Interlock installation, service scheduling, and removal. When she is not writing, she enjoys attending book clubs and reading stories to children.

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