Most people are aware of the possible consequences they face if they are arrested and convicted for driving under the influence, or DUI. Over the last couple of decades, states across the country have strengthened their DUI laws as well as increased their penalties for a violation of those laws. As a result, even a first-time offender could be sentenced to a period of time in jail as part of a sentence for a DUI conviction. Along with increasing the traditional penalties for a DUI conviction, courts are also now using alternative sentencing options for convicted DUI offenders. One of those options is to require an offender to install an ignition interlock device, or IID, on the offender’s vehicle. If you have been ordered to install an IID as part of a DUI sentence, or you are concerned about the possibility the court will order you to do so, you may have questions relating to the IID requirement. Your Omaha DUI attorney can explain your specific ignition interlock device order to ensure you do not violate that order. But in the meantime it may help to learn more about how the device works and how they are used in the State of Nebraska.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a device which is temporarily installed in the vehicle of someone who has been convicted of drinking and driving or who is out on bond pending the outcome of a drinking and driving case. The device works much like a mini breath test. The motorist must breath into the device before driving the vehicle. The IID then analyzes the motorist’s breath to determine if alcohol is present. The IID can even measure the amount of alcohol in the motorist’s breath. If the IID detects the presence of alcohol above a pre-programmed level, the vehicle will not start. The driver must then wait a few minutes to try the test again. If subsequent tests continue to detect the presence of alcohol, the motorist will be effectively locked out of the vehicle for an increasingly longer period of time.
State requirements differ with regard to retesting while driving. Most states require a motorist to retest with the IID device at regular intervals while operating the vehicle. Contrary to popular belief, the vehicle will not simply shut off if the device registers alcohol while the driver is driving the vehicle. Instead, the device may signal to the driver that the device registered alcohol by doing things such as honking the horn or flashing the lights. In addition, the device keeps a record of all test results and sends those results to a central monitoring station. If the device registers alcohol, the motorist will likely face the consequences by facing a probation violation or a bond revocation.
Nebraska’s Ignition Interlock Restricted Permit
In the State of Nebraska, an IID is also used to allow people to drive who would otherwise not be able to because of the state’s Administrative License Revocation (ALR) law. The ALR law effectively states that your license will be confiscated and revoked for a period of time if you are arrested and charged with DUI. You have the right to contest an ALR revocation; however, you face a longer period of revocation if your challenge is unsuccessful. Most motorists, however, also have the option to waive their right to contest the ALR revocation and apply for an Ignition Interlock Restricted Permit. If you apply for the permit, you give up your right to contest the ALR revocation. But in exchange you will be able to drive again as long as you install an ignition interlock device and abide by all the rules related to the IID. You must also pay for the installation of the device as well as pay the monthly monitoring fees associated with the device.
Be Sure to Consult with Your Omaha DUI Attorney
As you can see, the State of Nebraska has embraced the new IID technology, using the device both pre- and post-conviction for DUI. The choice to install an IID is a welcome option for drivers who would otherwise be without the ability to drive for months or even years. It is imperative, however, that you understand the terms of your IID permit or sentence because a violation could result in the loss of your driving privileges for an even longer period of time and/or a return to jail.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, or DUI, in Nebraska contact the Petersen Law Office 24 hours a day at 402-513-2180 to discuss your case with an experienced DUI defense attorney.