As of 1996, Missouri has been implementing what is known as the Ignition Interlock Law. This law requires that all second-time DWI offenders in Missouri fix an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to any vehicle they are operating. Although this law has been effective for almost 23 years many people still have many questions about how this law and how the IID device works.
This article answers some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) pertaining to Ignition Interlock devices in Missouri, as well as additional penalties that occur if you do not comply with the IID laws as set by the state of Missouri.
What Is An Ignition Interlock Device & How Does It Work?
A Missouri ignition interlock device is a type of breathalyzer that is installed into your vehicle and is usually no larger than the size of a tv remote. While IIDs are designed differently by separate manufacturers that are in compliance with the state law, each IID unit is often comprised of a few different components which include:
- A mouthpiece
- A handheld unit
- A cord connecting the IID to your vehicle
- Camera unit (optional, but in most Missouri DWI cases a camera is required)
The IID laws that are put in place are to prevent individuals who have already been convicted of driving while intoxicated from driving or operating their vehicle while intoxicated. Once the IID system is installed into the vehicle, the driver will be required to blow into the mouthpiece before the vehicle will start. The vehicle will not start if the breathalyzer detects a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above the state’s limit; in Missouri, the limit is .025. In addition to the initial breathalyzer “test” required to start the vehicle’s car, the device will also continuously require the driver to perform repeated tests while the vehicle is running.
What Circumstances Require An Ignition Interlock Device?
In addition to regular court fees and sentencing periods, if you are convicted of a DWI in Missouri, the first time, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days. After the 30 days and other court-ordered restrictions, you will be eligible for a restricted driver’s license. Depending on your case, you may be required to install an IID. First time DWI offenders in Missouri may be granted a restricted driving privilege before the initial 30 days but this depends on the judge and how well your DWI attorney in Springfield presents your case. If your looking for the best DWI attorneys in Springfield in order to avoid being convicted of a DWI, contact DWI Springfield today for a free consultation.
In addition to the above circumstances, second time DWI offenders and multiple DWI offenders in Missouri may not be eligible for restricted driving privileges following the initial 30-day license suspension, they will be, however, be eligible for a limited driver’s license. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, “Missouri law requires any person guilty of a second or subsequent intoxication-related traffic offense to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they operate before reinstating driving privileges.”
Who Is Responsible for Purchasing & Installing The Ignition Interlock Device?
Like most court fees and additional legal costs, the defendant in the case will be responsible for paying for their IID. Similarly, if the device requires maintenance or needs to be replaced for whatever reason, the costs fall to the user of the ignition interlock device. Manufacturers of ignition interlock devices in your area will also install it for you. Once you have purchased your IID the company you purchased it from is responsible for reporting it to the Department of Revenue as well as, the supervising authority of the court.
Penalties for Violating IID Laws in Missouri
If the court has ordered that an Missouri ignition interlock device be installed to your vehicle as part of your sentencing from a DWI conviction, there will be certain guidelines you must comply with before you may have the device legally removed from your vehicle.
After your IID has been installed, the manufacturer will notify the Department of Revenue. Once the Department of Revenue has been notified and all other license reinstatement measures that are required are in place, the DOR will begin the “count down” period for which you need to have your IID in place. This can range anywhere from 30 days and upwards but is usually about a 3 to 6-month long period.
Along with reporting to your probation or parole officer, you will be required to report each month to the IID installer. This information is used to make sure that the device is still working correctly and to monitor for any violations that may have occurred. If it is found that a person has been tampering with the Missouri ignition interlock device or blows a BAC of .08% percent or higher, he or she may be required to keep an IID installed on the vehicle for another three months. Depending on the circumstances, tampering with an ignition interlock device in Missouri could also garner a Class A Misdemeanor charge of which the defendant would be charged a fine of up to $1,000 and could face up to one year in jail
The Best DWI Attorneys in Springfield Can Help
If you are facing DWI charges in Springfield or have already been convicted of a DWI charge and need help navigating the complex policies of the ignition interlock device in Missouri, DWI Springfield can help. Choosing an attorney who has experience in thousands of successful DWI cases in Missouri is imperative to your future. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation consultation, where we can discuss your options for all DWI related legal situations.