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Ignition Interlock Device in Indiana

In many states, if a motorist has multiple convictions for driving under the influence or was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident as the result of driving under the influence, a court will mandate that the motorist have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle. The ignition interlock device essentially works like a “breathalyzer.” Before being able to start his vehicle, the motorist must breathe into the device which analyzes the alcohol content of the driver’s breath. If the alcohol content is above a predetermined limit set by the court, the ignition interlock device prevents the car from being started. The driver will be required to drive only that vehicle has been fitted with the ignition interlock device. If the driver fails to drive a vehicle a equipped with an ignition interlock device in a non-emergency setting, the driver commits a Class A misdemeanor.  A driver that must drive a vehicle in an emergency situation that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device must report the incident to the court within twenty-four hours.

The ignition interlock device is largely tamper-proof. It is designed to show evidence of tampering with the controls or attempts to outsmart the system.  The results of tests are recorded on the machine database. The ignition interlock devices also records evidence of tampering.  If the motorist tampers with the device, the ignition will lock and the machine will make a note of the incident on the database which will later be downloaded and reviewed by the court. Tampering with the ignition interlock device is a Class B misdemeanor. The device also prevents having a friend take the test for the motorist. The machine often initiates “retests” requiring the motorist to pull over and take the test again to ensure the driver did not have a friend take the test. Some ignition interlock devices require the motorist to home while blowing into the breathalyzer to ensure the motorist is not using a machine to fake the test. Soliciting another person to fake the breathalyzer is a Class C infraction.

As an additional punishment, the convicted motorist is responsible for all the fees associated with the installation and maintenance of the device.  Maintenance fees can vary and include charges for the calibration of the device. Installation of the ignition interlock device usually costs between $100 and $200. Monthly rental fees usually cost between $75 and $100.


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