Repairing the Impaired: DC’s Ignition Interlock Device Program

car-1232347As previously discussed, if you are arrested in the District of Columbia for a DUI, the DMV will most likely suspend or revoke your license for a period of 6 months to 2 years depending on various factors. However, the DC DMV offe
rs an Ignition Interlock Device Program (IIDP) allows DUI and DWI offenders to get their driving privileges back faster.  An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer connected to a car’s ignition system. To start the car, the driver must first blow into the device to check the alcohol level on his or her breath. The car will only start if the driver’s breath alcohol level is below an accepted amount on the device.

While the device itself may be a bit burdensome on a driver or a somewhat unsightly in your vehicle, DC’s IIDP gives DUI offenders a chance to reduce the suspension or revocation period on their license. What this means is that if your license is suspended because of a DC DUI and you participate in the program, you get a restricted driver’s license which allows you to drive as you once did, so long as your vehicle contains the breathalyzer. Although the program is optional at the moment, it may become mandatory for some DUI offenders.

In a recent article posted by Greater Greater Washington, the author noted that the District hardly uses the IIDP but that there has been an increase in support for the use of ignition interlock devices as a method of punishment for DUIs. Specifically, groups favoring laws to eliminate alcohol-related road deaths such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving are pushing for the use of federal funds to help make DC’s IIDP mandatory for certain drivers.

Currently, a bill being proposed for DC would require second DUI offenders and offenders with high BACs to complete the program. While the cost of the program was an expressed concern at a recent DC Council Transportation Committee hearing, Mr. Harris, of Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Legislative State Legislative Affairs Committee testified that a $200,000 federal incentive grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (or “NHTSA”) could cover the cost of the entire program, and at little to no cost to the program members.

Whether mandatory or optional, DC’s IIDP offers an advantageous balance between helping DUI offenders getting their driving privileges back faster and also ensuring that the roads are safer for everyone. To find out if you are eligible for DC’s IIDP, click here to see the DMV’s requirements.

In the unfortunate event that you are arrested for a DC DUI, it is important that you hire a skilled DC DUI lawyer to help you decide whether DC’s IIDP is the right option for you. At Scrofano Law PC, we advocate for our clients not only in the courtroom but also at the DMV to ensure that our clients get their driving privileges back as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DC DUI, call Scrofano Law PC immediately for a consultation and remember: before you blow, call Joe!