Under Wisconsin law, judges are required to order ignition interlock devices (IID) for all repeat OWI offenders; first-time offenders with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or higher; and drivers who refuse to provide a blood alcohol content (BAC) sample at a traffic stop.
An ignition interlock device is basically a breathalyzer for an individual’s vehicle which requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece to generate an immediate BAC reading. If the sample is within the allowed level, the car will start. Otherwise, the event is logged, the car will not start and, oftentimes, an alarm will sound complete with flashing lights and honking horns to signal the driver to turn off the ignition.
Although IID’s have proven to be an effective tool against repeat drunk driving, it only works if an OWI offender follows through on their court-ordered installation. Unfortunately, there have been several incidences in Wisconsin where those convicted of Wisconsin OWI and ordered to install an IID have failed to install the device. Subsequently, many are pulled over for another reason or even for a subsequent OWI and have to face the consequences.
Drivers who are pulled over for a repeat OWI, for example, not only face penalties for Wisconsin drunk driving, but will also be charged for a failure to install an IID resulting in a fine of $150-$600 and/or up to six months in jail, plus a mandatory six-month extension of the IID order. If it is the second or subsequent violation of an IID order within five years, a defendant could be looking at fines up to $1,000 and up to 5 years of incarceration.
Of course, when the wheels are already in motion and you have been ordered to install an ignition interlock device because of a conviction for Wisconsin repeat OWI, a BAC of 0.15 or higher, or because you refused to take a sobriety test, it is advisable to follow through. Do what you are ordered to do and put it behind you and, in the future, get a designated driver or call a cab.
For those who have been arrested and are facing charges of Wisconsin OWI now, whether it is your first our subsequent offense, it is in your best interest to secure experienced legal representation to either seek a dismissal of charges or perhaps a reduction of charges to avoid not only the possibility of increased penalties (including incarceration) in the event of a subsequent OWI, but also to keep your record clean to pave the way for future employment and educational opportunities.
Arrested for OWI – Failure to Install Ignition Interlock Device?
Like it or not, those with legal representation typically fair better than those who do not. Therefore, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Wisconsin drunk driving defense lawyer if you or a loved one is arrested for or charged with Wisconsin OWI to fight against the charges you face to achieve the best possible outcome. Contact the Waukesha, Wisconsin OWI lawyers of Andrew C. Ladd today for a free consultation of your matter at 262-542-3900 . We are here to help you get through difficult circumstances.