The state has a new weapon in the war on drunken driving. It’s called an ignition interlock device (IID) and it prevents a vehicle from being driven by someone with alcohol on their breath. Legislation was approved by the General Assembly that mandates an ignition interlock for someone who is arrested for the second time for driving under the influence effective January 1, 2012.

   The law hasn’t changed for those who are arrested for drunken driving for the first time. For those people, there is a 90-day driver’s license suspension. They must also attend alcohol education classes and a MADD Victim Impact Panel throughout a one-year proba- tion. If all of the requirements are met, the arrest is erased from one’s record.

   The second time a person is arrested for drunken driving it is considered a 1st conviction and the driver’s license will be suspended for 45 days and the interlock device with be required for a year.
The Ignition Interlock Device looks like a remote control with a mouthpiece that you can blow into, and the other end is a silver metal box that is installed under the dashboard. It ‘s simple and non-intrusive. The computer in the metal box is programmed so that one can’t turn on the vehicle if alcohol is detected when one blows into the device. The computer announces periodic ‘rolling retests,” causing the driver to have to blow into it again. The data in the box will be electronically transmitted to a probation officer through the interlock company.