Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Wisconsin State Patrol Law of the Month: June 2012

Drunken drivers face court-ordered installation of ignition interlock devices

With their elaborate sound systems, sophisticated GPS devices and other state-of-the-art gadgets, vehicles today are electronic marvels. But there’s another technologically advanced piece of equipment—called an ignition interlock device—that motorists definitely don’t want attached to their dashboard.

Under a state law enacted in 2010, first-time OWI offenders convicted with high alcohol levels and repeat drunken drivers must have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed  for a minimum of one year on every vehicle they own, have registered in their names, and operate.  IIDs require drivers to provide a breath sample that proves they’re alcohol-free before they can start their vehicle. Drivers also must blow into the device periodically while driving to ensure they remain alcohol-free.

Courts must order installation of an IID for drivers convicted of first-offense OWI if their blood/breath alcohol was .15 or higher and for drivers convicted of a second or subsequent OWI offense.  In addition, drivers who refused a chemical test to measure their alcohol level at the time of arrest will have to install an IID.

Convicted OWI offenders who do not comply with a court-ordered installation of an IID or who disconnect or tamper with an IID to avoid detection are subject to fines of $150 to $600 and up to six-months in jail as well as a six-month extension of the required IID period. Proof of IID installation is required before an occupational driver’s license is issued. Offenders must pay the expense of installing and maintaining an IID as well as a $50 surcharge. OWI offenders with an IID restriction have a prohibited alcohol concentration of .02 instead of the normal.08. 

"Court-mandated IID installations can be effective deterrents to impaired driving, which is persistent, prevalent and deadly," says Lieutenant Tony Burrell of the Northeast Region-Fond du Lac post. "Approximately 40 percent of traffic deaths in Wisconsin are the result of alcohol-related crashes. These deaths are both tragic and avoidable. To reach the goal of zero preventable deaths in Wisconsin will require all drivers to make the responsible decision to not get behind the wheel if they're impaired."


Blogger Gerald Blose said...

It has been estimated that nationally only one in eight convicted drunk drivers each year currently get an alcohol ignition interlock device, and most of those are repeat offenders, so they turned downed their doubts and decided to purchase ignition interlock

August 30, 2012 4:04 AM  

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