Everything You Need To Know About Having An Ignition Interlock Device in Georgia

Speak with a trusted Gwinnett County Juvenile Court lawyer in Georgia.

Philip Kim Law, P.C., can explain what you need to know about an ignition interlock device in Georgia and the effect it may have on your driving abilities. Call us today for more information.

 

Author: Philip Kim, Founder, Philip Kim Law, P.C.

Defense lawyer Philip Kim has committed his career to standing up for the accused, and protecting the rights and reputations of his valued clients. If you face criminal charges in Georgia, we can provide you with the skilled, effective defense representation you need.

Published on September 28, 2023.

 

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Facing a DUI arrest in Georgia can be scary. However, according to Georgia DUI laws, there are ways to avoid getting a license suspension. One is to get an ignition interlock device installed in your car.

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in Georgia is a breathalyzer installed in a vehicle to prevent it from starting if the driver’s breath alcohol level is above a certain limit. These devices are certified by the Department of Driver Services in Georgia. They are installed in the vehicles of people convicted of driving under the influence(DUI). With an IID installed in your car, you cannot operate the vehicle if your blood alcohol content exceeds 0.02 grams.

In Georgia, IID installation may be an alternative to license suspension. However, the device has some drawbacks, including its cost and the visibility of the device to your passengers. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it makes sense to speak with a DUI attorney.

In this piece, we consider the interlock process in Georgia and everything you need to know.

The GA Ignition Interlock Program

An ignition interlock program is a court-ordered requirement often imposed for DUI offenses. Individuals who are convicted usually receive this requirement in addition to attending DUI school and receiving other related penalties.

The program entails the installation of an IID in the person’s vehicle, which mandates the driver to successfully pass a breath test before the car can be started. Generally, these devices are rented to drivers due to their temporary requirement. The program’s primary objective is to deter individuals from driving while intoxicated. Activation of the car requires the driver to exhale into the breathalyzer, and if the device detects alcohol levels surpassing a specified limit, the vehicle will remain inoperable.

Ignition interlock programs aim to reduce the likelihood of repeat DUI/DWI offenses and enhance road safety. They provide a way for DUI offenders to regain their driving privileges responsibly and soberly.

However, you should note that certain products can cause the device to detect alcohol falsely. These include mouthwash, gels, soaps, hand sanitizers, and wipes. These products have isopropyl alcohol, which the IID cannot distinguish from ethyl alcohol. This highlights the significance of having a lawyer to navigate such complexities in the ignition interlock program.

Georgia’s Ignition Interlock Violation Laws

OCGA §42-8-118 outlines three ways a person can tamper with an ignition interlock device:

  • Requesting another person to blow into the device to start your vehicle

  • Blowing into an IID to start a car for a person with a restricted driving license

  • Tampering with the operation of an ignition interlock device

Over the years, IIDs have been modified to avoid these issues. For instance, many of these devices require you to take random samples while driving. This ensures that it’s the same person that provided the breath sample that started the car. It also ensures the driver is still sober.

The device will log attempts to circumvent blowing into the device to start the car. These reports will be compiled and forwarded to the driver’s probation officer. If the driver fails to give a sample, it will also be logged and reported to the driver’s probation officer.

Tampering with an IID device is a misdemeanor offense. The offense carries a potential fine of approximately $1,000 and a one-year jail sentence. Beyond these penalties, it could also lead to a hearing for probation revocation.

At the end of such a hearing, the judge may forgo the rest of the probation and require the driver to serve time. Another possible outcome is that the judge may extend the time the IID will remain on your vehicle.

Who Is Eligible for an IID in Georgia?

You are eligible for an IID in Georgia, provided you meet the following requirements:

  • You have a valid Georgia Driver’s license.
  • You are older than 21 years.
  • You have not had any prior DUI convictions in the last five years.
  • You do not have any pending license suspension or revocation.
  • CDL drivers can get IID. However, their CDL will be downgraded during the suspension period.

 

How Much Does an IID Cost in Georgia?

Installing an ignition interlock device will cost you money. There is usually a $75 installation fee and monthly fees of about $75.

Other costs may include maintenance fees and calibration charges. Also, it may be more expensive for luxury cars. Sometimes, the government in your area might pay for indigent drivers. However, this is at their discretion.

The cost of a DUI in Georgia shows how serious the offense is, emphasizing the need for a lawyer to guide you through the legal process.

Navigating Ignition Interlock Requirements and Application in Georgia

When you opt to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed, it’s generally required to be kept for 12 months, and this suspension period remains even if your case is reduced, dismissed, or won in court, potentially extending to two years for habitual violators. To obtain an IID in Georgia after a DUI offense, you can follow these steps:

  • Install the IID in your vehicle and apply for a permit through the Department of Driver Services (DDS) within 30 days after the 1205 issuance, usually occurring at the time of arrest.

  • The interlock must be installed before applying for the IID permit, and you can find an approved provider on the DDS website.

  • Apply in person at a DDS office, ensuring that you do so within 30 days from the 1205 serve date, and be prepared to waive an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing in Georgia.

  • Consider signing up for the DDS mobile app to receive notifications regarding changes to your driving history.

How Our Attorneys at Philip Kim Law, P.C. Can Assist You

When facing a DUI arrest in Georgia, the potential for license suspension arises, but there’s an alternative solution — installing an IID in your vehicle. These devices, similar to breathalyzers, prevent your vehicle from starting if alcohol levels are detected to be high.

We recognize the complexities involved in deciding whether to opt for an IID. At Philip Kim Law, PC, we firmly believe that you shouldn’t be navigating such challenging choices on your own. That’s precisely why we recommend the assistance of our highly skilled Georgia DUI lawyers to manage your case.

Our dedicated DUI attorneys are here to support you in various ways. From skillful negotiation and tailored guidance to strong representation in court, we work tirelessly to minimize the impact of DUI charges on your life. With our experience, you can confidently navigate the legal process and strive for the best possible outcome.

To protect your interests, you should have our experienced Atlanta DUI attorneys on your side. Call us immediately if you have been arrested for a DUI in Georgia.

Request a Free Legal Consultation

Philip Kim Law, P.C.
368 West Pike Street, Suite 203
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
(678) 203-6968
Fax: (678) 273-3501
kim map