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Know the regulations around IIDs before you get one

On Behalf of | May 1, 2024 | Drunk Driving

If the only way you can drive legally after a drunk driving conviction is with an ignition interlock device (IID), it’s worthwhile to give it serious consideration. This will allow you to have a restricted license that requires you to drive only vehicles in which you’ve had an IID installed.

While there is some cost, inconvenience and perhaps embarrassment, it can be a lot better than having to rely on family, friends or public transportation to get around for months or longer. It’s certainly better than driving without a valid license and risking even more legal consequences.

How you can lose the right to have an IID

Before you decide to participate in Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program, it’s crucial to understand what constitutes a violation of the rules and requirements. If you violate them, you can be removed from the program, and the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will suspend your driving privileges for the full period that was imposed based on the conviction.

Here are just a few examples of violations:

  • Blowing into the device with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above .025
  • Failing to do a rolling retest when prompted to.
  • Trying to tamper with or remove the device
  • Having someone who’s not driving the vehicle blow into the device

Of course, it’s also necessary to take any vehicle with IID to an authorized service center for monitoring every 30 days and to pay all required fees.

Take precautions as temperatures rise

It’s also important to keep the device in good working condition. This can help you avoid unnecessary malfunctions that you may have to prove weren’t due to any tampering on your part.

As we move into summer, it’s especially important to prevent heat damage to your IID – especially if you have to keep your vehicle parked outside during the day. Keeping a covering (even a towel) over the device to shield it from the heat and sun can also help. So can having a sunshade on your windshield.

It’s also important to make sure your battery is charged and in good shape before having the IID installed. The device itself shouldn’t cause the battery to run down, but if something else does, that can read as a violation. 

If you have questions or concerns about having an IID installed or are facing the possibility of losing your IID and restricted driving privileges, it’s wise to get legal guidance.