Law Offices of Frank J. Riccio LLC 923 East Main Street Bridgeport, Connecticut 06608 Phone: 203-333-6135 Fax: 203-333-6190
Connecticut Expands The Use Of Ignition Interlock Device
Frank J. Riccio, II, Esq. March 2012
Connecticut criminal defense attorneys are closely monitoring the expanded use of these ignition interlock devices. The "ignition interlock device," which is also known as a "vehicle-disabling device," requires someone convicted of a drunk driving offense (DUI) to blow into a tube before they can start their vehicle. The device does not permit the engine to start if the blood alcohol content is over a certain threshold.
Prior to this year (2012), Connecticut law only required interlocks to be used after a second drunk driving conviction. Beginning this year, however, even a first-time conviction triggers a requirement to install them on any vehicles the person intends to drive.
The ignition interlock must stay on for one full year, following the completion of the license suspension of 45 days. Prior to this new law, the license suspension for a first offender DUI conviction was one year, however that suspension is now far shorter with installation of this device.
After a second conviction, the interlock period is even longer: three years.
Connecticut is not along among the states in requiring ignition interlocks even for first-time convictions. At least 14 other states do so as well.
The costs of installing these devices are substantial. In Connecticut, the submission of an application to the Department of Motor Vehicles costs $100. Installing the device itself costs about $150. Monitoring and maintenance adds another $75 per month.
As Connecticut ramps up to implement the expanded breath test requirement, it is also important to note that though the legal limit for the BAC is 0.08, the threshold for ignition interlocks is well below that: at 0.025.
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