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Ignition Interlock Device in Iowa

An ignition interlock device (“IID”) is a handheld breath-testing device that is wired into a vehicle’s ignition system.  An ignition interlock device is commonly referred to as a blow-and-go device. It is similar to a breathalyzer in the sense that you blow into the machine which measures your blood alcohol level. The vehicle will be prevented from starting unless the driver can provide a sober breath sample, and random breath samples may be required from the driver while the vehicle is in motion. The IID will not shut down your car if a breath test is not passed.  Any breath test results over the legal limit will be recorded and sent to the proper authorities.

IID’s are designed to prevent tampering, and any attempt to circumvent or tamper with the device, or a breath test reading that is over the legal limit will be forwarded to the proper authorities.  Additional penalties may also be imposed, including the revocation of the person’s restricted driving privileges.

The failure to install the device will prevent the department of motor vehicles from issuing a temporary restricted license. Furthermore, any person who is required to have an IID that is caught driving a vehicle without the device will be subject to additional penalties.

The commissioner of public safety sets the maximum allowable alcohol level. The length of time that an ignition interlock device would have to remain on your vehicle will not be greater than the length imprisonment would be for your specific offense. For example, if the length of imprisonment for your offense was 180 days and you are required to have an ignition interlock device, you would have it for no more than 180 days. If you are required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle and fail to do so, then you will be held in contempt and be further punished. Also, it is a serious misdemeanor if you tamper with or circumvent the use of the ignition interlock device.


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