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Waldorf, Maryland DUI/DWI Criminal Defense: Facts About Ignition Interlock Devices

If you have been arrested and convicted of DUI/DWI charges in Charles County, Maryland, one possible punishment that can be imposed (or that must be imposed) by the Maryland criminal court judge is the requirement that you install an ignition interlock device (“IID”) on your car/vehicle. Generally, if your blood alcohol level was higher than 0.08%, then you will be required to install an IID.

Further, in some cases, as part of a plea bargain, a defendant can OFFER to have an IID installed in exchange for a lesser charge or a recommendation of lesser sentencing. You are also generally required to install an IID if you refuse or fail to take a breathalyzer test if you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence or while impaired. If you have been arrested in Waldorf, MD on a DUI/DWI charge, call us here at the Law Office of Robert Castro at (301) 705-5137. We are experienced DUI/DWI criminal defense attorneys and are available 24/7. Here are some general facts about IIDs.

What is an IID?

An IID is an electronic device installed by a Maryland licensed and certified installation company. The device is a type of breathalyzer device hooked into your vehicle’s ignition system. You must “blow” into the device and “pass” the test before you will be able to start your vehicle. To “pass,” the IID must register a blood alcohol level of less than 0.025%. If you fail the test, then you will have to wait some time before trying again. In addition, the “fail” will be recorded on the device. You have a very limited number of “fails” allowed under the IID program.

The devices come in many different shapes — most look like TV remote controls and some are designed to look like a beverage cup and you blow into the “straw.” The devices have a small screen that will provide instructions, results, and other information.

At random intervals while you are driving, the device will signal — with a tone, beep, bell, or other noise — that you must retest. This can be done while you are still driving and your car will not stop working even if you fail the test. Rather, your car horn may start going and your lights might start flashing until you pull over to a safe location and turn off the ignition.

To prevent cheating by having another person blow for you, the device will take a photograph as you are blowing. All of this information is retained in the device and will either be periodically downloaded from the device by the installation shop or will be sent via wireless connections to the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicles (which administers the program).

In addition, you are required to return to the installation shop — about once a month — for the shop to check the IID for tampering, for the shop to download the stored information, and to install any updates or modifications to the IID’s software.

Contact Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer at (301)705-5137. We are Waldorf, MD Criminal Defense lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.