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Is an ignition interlock device in your future?

As the weather warms up, more Maryland residents will be enjoying outdoor activities like trips to the river and barbeques. Some of these events will include alcohol and could result in attendees drinking and driving.

It's important to remember that, even if you don't feel like you're impaired, it's never a good idea to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after drinking. If you are pulled over and arrested for DUI or DWI, you could face serious penalties including fines, imprisonment and having your driver's license suspended or revoked.

Maryland's Ignition Interlock Program

If you are convicted of drunk driving in Maryland, you may be ordered to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program and install an interlock device in your motor vehicle as a condition of retaining or regaining your driver's license. In some DUI and DWI cases, individuals are court-ordered to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. Some convicted drivers also choose to voluntarily opt in to the program to retain limited driving privileges.

Once installed, an ignition interlock device prevents your vehicle from starting until you blow a breath sample into it. If the device detects an alcohol reading that is higher than the preset parameters, your vehicle won't start. Depending on the specific circumstances involved in your DUI or DWI case, you may be required to use an ignition interlock device for 180 days, or roughly six months, to one year.

Ignition Interlock Program Violations

While enrolled in the program, it's very important to comply with all of the related terms and restrictions. Program violators will be dropped from the program and lose all driving privileges during the full driver's license suspension period.

Violations of the Ignition Interlock Program include:

  • Tampering with or attempting to bypass the device
  • Registering a breath sample with a BAC of more than .025
  • Additional traffic violations that result in driver's license suspension or revocation
  • Driving a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device
  • Failing to attend monthly mandatory monitoring meetings

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