If you have been charged with a DUI in North Carolina, you may be court-ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. In some states, all DUI offenders, including first-time offenders, must have an interlock device installed. In North Carolina, however, the state only requires certain DUI offenders to use these devices. This includes offenders who have a blood alcohol content level of 0.15 or higher, or who have had a previous DUI offense within the past seven years.
Once installed in your vehicle, an ignition interlock device will not allow your car to start if you have a blood alcohol content level that is over a preset limit. In order to start the vehicle, you must exhale a breath sample into a tube connected to a dashboard monitor. The car will then start if the BAC level passes. Periodically during the drive, the device will prompt you to submit subsequent breath samples.
When a breath sample is over the acceptable BAC limit, the car will either not start or, if already in motion, will slowly power down. Some information is stored within the interlock device and is transmitted to authorities during maintenance visits. This includes the following:
- Startup attempts
- Blood alcohol content levels
- Attempted damage to the interlock device
It is important to keep in mind that all costs must be paid for by the DUI offender. It is best to comply with all the rules and regulations surrounding the devices to avoid having to use them for a longer period of time.
This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.