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When is an ignition interlock device required in Wisconsin?

Drunk driving charges, if not properly challenged, can result in serious penalties. An individual who is convicted of DUI in Wisconsin may face jail time, fines, license suspension, license revocation, and damage to his or her reputation and career. Another penalty these individuals may face is the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.

An ignition interlock device disables a vehicle from starting until the driver provides a breath sample that demonstrates he or she is free of alcohol. A judge may order this device to be installed either pre- or post-adjudication, which can be problematic for those accused of a crime. If a judge orders ignition interlock device implementation, then the device must be installed on every vehicle owned by the individual. This can prove costly.

Ignition interlock device installation will be ordered if an individual is a repeat OWI offender; is a first time offender but was had a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher; or refused to submit to a breath or blood test for alcohol testing purposes. Though the law is pretty strict with regard to time limits and fees associated with these devices, exceptions may apply. For example, those facing financial hardship may be able to reduce their fees or prevent the forced installation on one or more of their vehicles.

Wisconsin residents who are confronted with allegations of drunk driving have a lot with which to contend. They may be most worried about being locked up and losing their job, but they need to make sure they adequately address all legal challenges they face, including the potential for mandatory ignition interlock device installation. Thus, those facing DUI charges may want to speak with a legal professional to learn more about their options for a legal defense.

Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, "Frequently Asked Questions About IIDS," accessed on July 24, 2016

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