If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, you are likely to face a number of penalties, including license suspension and the possibility of having an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in any vehicle you drive.
The state of Tennessee has chosen to require the ignition interlock device because research indicates it acts as a deterrent against further arrests. In fact, studies indicate that nearly 90 percent of those using IIDs do not face subsequent drunk driving charges.
An order from the court
Under certain circumstances, a judge in Tennessee can order you to have an IID installed on your vehicle. For example, you would qualify if you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.15 percent or higher when law enforcement arrested you for DUI. The court might also order an ignition interlock device if you had a previous DUI conviction, if you violated an open container law, or if your BAC was 0.08 percent or higher and you had a passenger in your vehicle who was younger than 18.
The IID described
About the size of a mobile phone, an ignition interlock device is a computer that connects to the wiring beneath the hood of your car. You breathe into the attached mouthpiece and the IID measures your BAC. If the BAC registers below the set point, usually 0.02 percent, your car will start, and you can drive away. Some people have gone to great lengths in trying to fool the machine, but these devices come equipped with anti-circumvention technology. The IID will request random samplings as you drive to keep the vehicle in motion.
You must have the ignition interlock device serviced on a regular basis, usually every 60 days. If you do not take it in for service at the appropriate time, it will go into lockout mode, which means that your vehicle will not start.
If you have been arrested for DUI, remember that there are defenses. Speak with an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.