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Ignition Interlock Devices: Requirements, Costs, and Implications for DUI Offenders

October 12, 2023
Cyndi Christiani

While they can be tedious and annoying, an ignition interlock device (IID) can be a great way to maintain your independence and ability to drive after being charged and/or convicted of a DUI. Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program was started in 1989 and is fully automated and monitored by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Since 2019, there has been a requirement that the IID be camera-enabled.

The IID is a device that the vehicle’s driver breathes into to have their breath analyzed. The device then measures the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If their BAC exceeds the amount the machine has been calibrated to deem acceptable, the motor vehicle will not start. In addition, the device stores the information so that it can later be monitored and reviewed. 

The Law Office of Cynthia Christiani represents people charged with DUI and DWI. We help our clients find the best solution for their situation and provide the knowledgeable guidance they need. 

Ignition Interlock Device Requirements

Only some people charged with a DUI or DWI will qualify for the IID Program, and participation can be voluntary or court-ordered. According to the MVA, you must also have a license that has not been suspended, revoked, canceled, or refused. In addition, you have a certain limited time frame to meet certain conditions, such as installation of the IID.

Ignition Interlock Device Costs

There are costs associated with the Ignition Interlock Program, and you, the participant, pay them. Generally, these costs are broken down as follows:

  • Cost for a special interlock-restricted driver’s license from the MVA
  • Cost for having the interlock restricted designation removed from your driver’s license once you are no longer participating in the Ignition Interlock Program
  • Cost to have the ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle
  • Costs associated with monthly monitoring of the device 

Costs can vary, and it is best to contact the MVA and the provider installing your device to ensure how much the IID will cost you in total. Remember, even with these costs, the independence the IID grants you typically ensures that it is a worthwhile investment. 

Ignition Interlock Device Implications for DUI Offenders

You can choose to have an IID placed on your vehicle so that you do not have to attend a hearing regarding your ability to retain your driving privileges or to avoid having your driving privileges taken away. Participation length will vary based on your BAC level when you were charged. Certain convictions require participation in the program under Noah’s Law

Speak With A Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney At Our Firm

If you are facing a charge for DUI or DWI in Maryland or have questions regarding how an IID can affect your ability to drive, contact The Law Office of Cynthia Christiani. We may be reached via our contact page.