Getting a DUI is an expensive mistake. Not only do you have to pay court fees and fines that could cost thousands of dollars, but in many cases, you may also have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) into your car. Although these devices are part of your sentence and ordered by the court, DUI recipients have to pay for the cost of installation and maintenance out of their own pocket.
If you have to install an IID into your car or truck, you’re going to have to figure out which company is the right one to fit your needs. Typically, the courts will give you contact info for major installers, but when you’re living in Washington, you’ll want someone a bit more local and a bit cheaper as an alternative.
Today we’re going to discuss ignition interlocking devices in detail—what they are, how they work, and how to choose the right installer.
What is an Ignition Interlocking Device?
After receiving a DUI, the court will try to determine if you are eligible to continue driving. For many people, their cars are essential to everyday life, so losing their license or being unable to drive for a period can create significant problems. To get around this issue, there are ignition interlocking devices.
IIDs are designed to allow DUI recipients to continue driving while still making sure that they don’t get behind the wheel while under the influence again. They are essentially a breathalyzer that is attached to the engine – if you pass the test, then you can start the car. If you don’t pass, then the vehicle will stay off, and the incident will be logged into the internal system.
These devices not only require a clean breath test to start the car but they also have drivers submit a sample while they’re driving as well. This is called “rolling testing,” and it’s designed to prevent someone other than the driver from submitting a breath test.
If you fail the rolling test, then the car will issue a warning and force you to come to a stop. It won’t automatically shut off the engine as that could create a dangerous situation, but it may be designed to slow the car on its own so that you can pull over and submit a clean test.
Costs of an IID
As we mentioned, DUI recipients are responsible for paying to install these devices in their cars. On top of installation and removal fees, there are also monthly maintenance costs that can add up—especially because most sentences require the device to stay in place for at least six months to a year.
Although these prices will vary based on local regulations and the installer themselves, an average installation can run between $70-$150. Monthly fees will be around $60-$80, so you’re looking at a total expense of about $500-$800 for a six-month sentence.
At first, this will seem particularly pricey, but when you consider how much it would cost to utilize other forms of transportation—assuming that you don’t have someone who can drive you, the expense is usually worth it.
How to Find a Reputable IID Installer
As we mentioned, the court will likely provide you with a list of installers once you’re convicted of a DUI. However, because you’re the one paying for the installation and maintenance, it’s up to you to find the right WA company for your vehicle. Here are a few things to consider when making a decision.
Check the IID Features
First and foremost, you will want to try and get a device that is the least intrusive. Some models will require you to wait for a set time before you can start driving, while others may have a complicated set of instructions to take the test. Typically speaking, the more convenient a machine is, the likelier that an installer will charge more for installation. Overall, you want simplicity and convenience if possible, check out the devices available and see how they will impact your driving abilities.
Ask Pertinent Questions of the Installer
When you’re convicted of a DUI, you will be given a period in which to find and install your IID. Generally, you won’t have very long, so it’s imperative that you find a decent installer as quickly as possible. Here are some questions to ask a potential installer to figure out which one is right for you.
How long have you been installing IIDs?
Companies that have been doing this for years will usually have better service and more affordable rates than those that are still brand new.
When can I contact customer service with a problem?
IIDs can be fickle machines, and you’ll likely have to call someone because it’s not acting right. If the company has limited customer service hours (i.e., 9-5), you could be out of luck if you go driving outside of those hours.
Which vehicles can you install in?
Make sure that the installer won’t have any problems putting an IID in your car. Different makes, models, and years require an understanding of the car’s internal systems, which means that some installers may not be able to put an IID if your vehicle is not within certain parameters (i.e., too old or a brand they don’t service).
Getting a DUI can be a disaster if you’re not prepared. Contact Leyba Defense immediately to get the legal representation you deserve. Don’t let the court push you around, and don’t let your DUI ruin your life. We have the experience to help you in this situation, so let us guide you through this process.