Someday in the future, vehicle technology will be so advanced that the vehicle won’t start until it’s sure that the driver is sober (or, self-driving cars may create new inroads into DWI law). Until this future arrives, however, North Carolina drivers charged with DWI will have to settle with ignition interlock devices.
In short, ignition interlock devices check a driver’s breath for alcohol before letting the car engine start. The law in North Carolina mandates ignition interlock devices for drivers convicted of repeat DWIs, drivers who refuse a chemical test during a traffic stop, and drivers who blow a 0.15 BAC, nearly double the 0.08 limit that legally defines impaired driving. Nevertheless, if you’ve been arrested for DWI, you should always contact an experienced Raleigh DWI lawyer who understands North Carolina ignition interlock laws.
For a free consultation with the DWI attorneys at the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, call our Raleigh law office today at (919) 832-0307. In the meantime, you can learn more about ignition interlock laws in North Carolina below.
Understanding the Ignition Interlock Laws in North Carolina
Over 11,000 drivers in North Carolina have ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. For the most part, these devices look and function like a personal breathalyzer, and drivers must blow into the device before starting the car and again at various intervals throughout the journey. If, at any time, the breathalyzer detects a BAC at 0.08 or higher, then the car won’t move.
In 26 other states in the US, the law requires ignition interlocks for everybody convicted of DWI, including first-time offenders. Although North Carolina legislators have attempted to push a bill that makes ignition interlocks a requirement for even first-time offenders, ignition interlock law in North Carolina is still only required for repeat offenders, individuals who had their license revoked, and for the reasons stated above.
There are a few laws regarding North Carolina’s ignition interlock regulations, and if you were arrested for DWI, it can be helpful to know these laws so that you understand what may come following the court’s criminal proceedings. These laws include:
- G.S. 20-179.3 — If a driver blows 0.15 or more, then an ignition interlock device is required.
- G.S. 20-17.8 — The DMV must require an ignition interlock device when an individual’s conviction of impaired driving includes (a) an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more or (b) commission of a second impaired driving offense within seven years after a prior impaired driving conviction.
- G.S. 20-28 — The DMV must also require an ignition interlock device as a condition of license restoration following a revocation for an impaired driving offense.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ignition Interlock Devices
Below, we’ve compiled a few FAQs that many drivers in North Carolina have about ignition interlock devices:
- How much does the device cost? — It is important to remember that ignition interlock devices can be expensive for drivers. On average, drivers may have to pay $2.50 a day for each of the household cars that use the device. Keep in mind that there are a few options for individuals who cannot afford the device.
- Can you bypass the ignition interlock device? — Ignition interlock devices need to meet strict government regulations and designed with safety and security. As such, if a person tries to circumvent this device, the penalties can be severe. Remember, all events on these devices are recorded and rolling tests may be required periodically.
- What if someone else drives the vehicle after drinking? — When someone else is driving the vehicle after drinking, and fails the ignition interlock test, there may be little you can do. Some devices have cameras that verify the user; however, you may responsible for making sure those driving your vehicle do not drive intoxicated.
- Can other people drive my car? — As long as the other people are not (or haven’t been) drinking, and taught how to use the device, all they need to do is blow into the device and start driving.
- Do these devices really reduce drunk driving behavior? — Studies have shown that ignition interlock devices reduce repeated offenses by 67 percent (while the device is installed in the car). However, when the device is removed, the repeat DWI offender rate often goes back to normal.
Call Raleigh DWI Lawyer Dewey Brinkley Today
Ignition interlock devices have a prominent role in reducing drunk driving in North Carolina. Nevertheless, as a professional Raleigh DUI defense attorney, we at Dewey Brinkley Law will thoroughly examine the details of your case, such as how you were stopped, how you were evaluated, and how the DWI charge was documented by law enforcement. Additionally, after a DWI arrest, if getting an ignition interlock device is the best way to reduce the severity of charges, then, based on your interests, we will push for this device.
In any case, as your Raleigh DWI attorney, we will vigorously defend your charges with the goal of getting these charges dropped or dismissed, getting you a not-guilty verdict, or seeking alternative/reduced sentencing. To speak with attorney Dewey Brinkley over a completely free consultation, call our Raleigh law firm today at (919) 832-0307.