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Ignition Interlock Devices in Tennessee

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a handheld breath-testing device that is installed into a vehicle. Before the vehicle can be started the individual must exhale into the device: if the results of the breath test are .02% or higher, the vehicle will not start. Random breath samples while the car is in motion are required as well. Failure to provide a sample, or samples over .02% will start up the car alarm (e.g. horn honking and lights flashing) until the car is pulled over. The ignition interlock device must be installed in every vehicle the offender owns and operates and the offender is prohibited from driving in any vehicle that does not have the device installed.

In Tennessee, if your BAC was 0.15% or higher, if you were convicted of a DUI while driving with a child under eighteen, or if you refused a breathalyzer test, you must install an ignition device, even if it is your first offense. Further, an IID is mandatory if you have a prior DUI conviction within the last five years. Otherwise, whether you need to install an IID in your vehicle is up to the discretion of the court. If ordered by the court, you are responsible for the installation and maintenance of the device and are responsible for all costs.


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