Ignition interlock devices required for some OWI offenders

People who have been convicted of an OWI in Indiana may be required to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicles.

While a number of Indiana residents enjoy having drinks while out with friends, they may want to think twice before climbing behind the wheel of a vehicle while intoxicated. People who decide to drink and drive should be prepared to face strict consequences if they are charged with a DUI or OWI (operating while intoxicated) in Indiana. In 2014, state lawmakers passed legislation requiring repeat drunk drivers to use ignition interlock devices in their vehicles, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The law also gave judges the ability to order interlock devices in OWI cases involving first-time offenders.

When drivers are convicted of an OWI for the first time in Indiana, they may have their driver's license suspended for 90 days. People who have two or three previous OWI convictions risk losing their license for up to two years, depending on the judge's discretion. Rather than take away OWI offenders ability to operate a vehicle by suspending their driver's license, ignition interlock devices give them the chance to drive to school, work and other important destinations.

Using an ignition interlock device

Interlock devices consist of a small machine that is wired into the ignition system of the vehicle, as well as a monitor that is mounted to the dashboard. According to TechHive, a breath test is required before the driver can start the vehicle. Drivers are prompted to blow into a tube that is connected to the dashboard monitor in order to start the vehicle and then periodically to keep the car going. A camera on the monitor snaps a picture each time the driver blows into the device. If the driver's blood alcohol content level measures above the preset limit of 0.02 percent, the car will lock up.

Interlock device offenses

Interlock devices are designed to record information, including initial startup times, BAC levels, lockouts and whether the device has been tampered with. All of the data is then transmitted to officials during the vehicle's regular maintenance appointments. Drivers who tamper with the device in any way may be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, according to Indiana's ignition interlock laws.

Partnering with an attorney

If you have been charged with an OWI in Indiana, you may be unsure of what to do next. The daunting prospects of having an OWI on your record can be overwhelming and make it difficult to make good decisions regarding your future. You may want to consider speaking with a criminal attorney regarding your legal rights and options. A lawyer may be able to help you organize an OWI defense and maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

Keywords: OWI, drunk driving, charges, arrest