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When a person is arrested and charged with a DUI/DWI in Maryland, it is a very serious offense that can result in significant consequences. This can include fines and jail time. In addition to this, the court may require the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device. Continue reading to learn more about this device. 

How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?

An Ignition Interlock Device is designed to keep drunk drivers off the road. It connects the vehicle’s ignition system to a breathalyzer in order to determine a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The driver is required to blow into the mouthpiece of the device in order to get their car to start. If the device detects that the driver’s BAC is above the set limit, the vehicle will not start. In addition to this, it requires additional breath tests to be done while the vehicle is being driven without stopping. 

Am I Eligible for the Ignition Interlock Program?

In the state of Maryland, the Ignition Interlock Program exists in order to allow participants to continue driving during their license suspension. It may be mandatory for an individual to participate in the program in the event that they are convicted of the following:

  • An alcohol-related driving offense
  • Intoxicated driving with a passenger under 16 years old
  • Intoxicated driving under the age of 21 years old
  • A DUI or DWI if the driver has a prior DWI/DUI within the last five years

When a person is facing any of these charges, they may be required to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program for a minimum of six months if it is their first offense. If it is their second offense, the requirement may be a minimum of one year. For a third offense, this can increase to three years. It is important to know that drivers under the age of 21 may be required to have the ignition interlock device for up to three years. If the driver successfully completes the Ignition Interlock Program, it can result in early reinstatement of their driver’s license. 

Drivers who are suspended due to intoxicated driving but are not mandated to participate in the program may choose to do so voluntarily. If accepted, they may be eligible to drive with the device and become eligible for reinstatement if the complete the following:

  • 180 days with the device if their BAC was between .08% and .14%
  • One year with the device if their BAC was .15% or more
  • One year with the device if the driver refused a chemical test

Contact our Firm

The Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz has decades of experience representing clients in Howard County and Anne Arundel County, Maryland who have been charged with a crime or injured by another party’s negligence. Contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today to discuss your case.

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