When a person is convicted of an OWI they risk having their license revoked and vehicle impounded. This may not happen for a first time offense, but with subsequent convictions, the chances of not being able to drive only increases. In certain cases, an OWI offender may have the option of continuing to drive on the condition that they install and use an interlock ignition device in their vehicle.
What is an Interlock Ignition Device?
An interlock ignition device (or IID) is a machine that is installed in a person’s vehicle. It comes equipped with a BAC breathalyzer that the person must blow into and pass before starting the car. If the person blows a BAC of over 0.02, the vehicle will not start. Depending on the length of the ride, the driver may be prompted again to take a breathalyzer (just to ensure they aren’t drinking in the car). The results are also transmitted to the offender’s parole officer.
What is the law on Interlock Ignition Devices in Wisconsin?
The ignition interlock device statute in Wisconsin is found in Section 343.301 of the Wisconsin Statutes. This statute requires the installation and use of an ignition interlock device (IID) for certain individuals convicted of drunk driving and other alcohol-related offenses.
An IID is a device that is installed in a vehicle and prevents the vehicle from starting unless the driver provides a breath sample that is below a certain blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. If the driver’s BAC level is above the limit, the IID will prevent the vehicle from starting.
Who is required to use an Ignition Interlock Device?
Wisconsin law requires the installation of an IID for the following individuals:
- Individuals convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (OWI) with a BAC of 0.15% or higher
- Individuals convicted of OWI for a second or subsequent time
- Individuals convicted of refusing to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath, or urine
How Much Does An Ignition Interlock Cost In Wisconsin?
There are several costs that accompany an interlock ignition device, broken down below:
- Installation fee. This usually ranges from $50 to $200 depending on where you have the device installed.
- Monthly fee. This averages $65-$70. This fee covers the cost of making sure the interlock device is working properly.
- Other fees. Interlock devices are required to be calibrated every two months. This is generally an additional cost of $10-$20.
Adding all the fees together, interlock ignition devices cost roughly $1,000 per year. This cost is entirely up to the OWI offender to cover. It may seem steep, but for people who need to drive for work, the cost is minor compared to not being able to drive at all. Here is a list of all the interlock ignition service stations in the state of Wisconsin, with their associated fees: http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/statepatrol/docs/iid-service-center-list.pdf Y7SA76DJDHXP