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What you should know if you need an IID to legally drive

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2023 | DWI |

Here in Missouri, people who plead guilty to or are convicted of a second or subsequent DWI offense are required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle(s) in order for their driver’s license to be reinstated. This can allow to you get some freedom back after a DWI. 

Some people don’t want to deal with the expense, time and embarrassment they may feel having an IID in their car. However, it’s certainly better than having to rely on others for rides or – worse – risking the consequences of driving without a valid license. If you’re caught driving without a required IID, you could lose all driving privileges for a year.

Perhaps most importantly, IIDs can and do save lives. Knowing that you need to blow into an IID to show that you haven’t been drinking can be a strong incentive to opt for a Diet Coke instead of a beer.

It’s crucial to understand how an IID works and the importance of not violating the requirements before you have it installed. For example, the system includes a camera, so don’t even consider having someone else blow into it for you. Note that if you share a vehicle with other drivers, they’ll all have to use the IID – which simply means they’ll have to drive sober. 

Rolling retests are part of the program

Further, to prevent people from postponing their drinking until after they’ve started their vehicle, IIDs require what are known as “rolling retests.” That means that every so often while the car is running, you’ll be prompted to again blow into the device to show that you haven’t been consuming alcohol while driving.

People often assume that a vehicle will automatically stop – perhaps in the middle of traffic – if they fail (or fail to take) a rolling retest. Obviously, that would be extremely dangerous to everyone on the road. If you don’t take and pass a rolling retest, however, your vehicle will become a spectacle. Typically, the system causes the horn to honk and lights to flash to attract law enforcement.

If you’re facing DWI charges, it’s important to protect your rights. An arrest doesn’t necessarily have to result in a conviction. Getting experienced legal guidance is a good first step.