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What is an ignition interlock device?

A DUI charge and conviction can leave individuals facing several penalties, both legal and personal. Even the first offense could lead to criminal charges, jail time and serious fines. On top of that, the local government could suspend or revoke their driving privileges.

However, the consequences of a DUI do not stop there. Under Alaska law, many individuals convicted of a DUI must have an ignition interlock device in their car for a period after the conviction.

An ignition interlock device is a personal Breathalyzer

The ignition interlock device connects to the ignition of someone’s car if they have a DUI on their record. Every time the driver gets into their car, they must breathe into the device to test the alcohol levels in their system in order to start the car. 

If the driver’s test is not below the legal limit of a 0.08 blood alcohol content, the car will not start. 

The restriction will appear on your license

Not only does the device track someone’s driving activity, but it also requires individuals to obtain a specific license to regain driving privileges

The Alaska DMV will issue a new license that:

  • Shows the driver’s restriction with an ignition interlock device
  • Often prevents the individual from purchasing alcohol

Including this restriction on someone’s license establishes limitations in someone’s life outside of their car, as well as inside it.

How long you have the ignition interlock device varies by the charge

Fortunately, it is not necessary to use an ignition interlock device forever. The type of DUI charge determines how long someone must use the device. For example:

  • A first DUI offense usually requires six months of use
  • A second offense increases that time to 12 months
  • A third offense requires around 18 months of use

However, even a short period of using the device is not inexpensive. It often costs more than $1,000 to lease, install and use the device for a year. And that is on top of all of the other fines someone must pay after a DUI conviction.

This device is only one reason to fight a DUI charge

Using an ignition interlock device is only one consequence of many that individuals could face after a DUI conviction.

And that is why it is important to fight a DUI charge as soon as possible, so individuals can prevent these kinds of consequences from impacting their lives.