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Ignition Interlock Devices in Hawaii

Ignition Interlock device is a breath device that is placed on the ignition system of a car and prevents the car from being started without first testing and periodically retesting the breath sample of the driver to make sure their blood alcohol level is less than .02.  The interlock device is a small instrument installed into the starting circuit of a vehicle. Ignition interlock devices use an ethanol-specific fuel cell for a sensor. Fuel cell technology is not as accurate or reliable as other technology used in breathalyzers, but they are more specific to a person’s alcohol content. Interlock devices keep a record of the activity on the device. The record is printed out each time the device’s sensors go off, usually 30, 60, or 90-day interval. Authorities may require periodic review of the log that is printed off. If a violation is found, the person will be sanctioned. If a person is found to violate the ignition interlock device for a first offense will have:

  • A term of imprisonment up to 30 days with no more than 3 days being served consecutively
  • A fine between $250 – $1000
  • Not be allowed to operate a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device

The interlock devices are also installed with a digital camera that takes a photo of the person initiating the test to ensure the person submitting the breath sample is the same person who was convicted for the OVII. The vehicle will start for a sober driver and will not start for a drinking driver. The offender pays for the cost of the ignition interlock device. If the offender cannot pay for the ignition device, the offender will apply for assistance to the director of transportation. The director of transportation will then contract with the ignition interlock device vendor and provide partial financial relief for the installation.

An ignition interlock device will be installed after any conviction of an OVII. An accused can have their license to operate a vehicle suspended or revoked or have an ignition interlock device installed. The ignition interlock device shall be installed and operated during the revocation period.

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