There are many penalties associated with an OWI charge in Wisconsin, and the courts requiring you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle is one of them. The idea behind an ignition interlock device is that it acts as a car-based breathalyzer test. In order to start the vehicle, you will need to blow into the device. If it detects any alcohol on your breath, the car will not start.
There are many factors involved regarding whether or not you will need to install an ignition interlock device. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, all repeat OWI offenders must install an ignition interlock device on all of their vehicles.
What else may require ignition interlock device installation?
It is possible that the courts mandate a first-time OWI offender to install an ignition interlock device. If you are a first-time OWI offender with an alcohol concentration higher than 0.15, the courts will require you to install an ignition interlock device. Additionally, any driver who refuses to provide a blood sample or breathalyzer test at a traffic stop must install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
Who pays for the ignition interlock device?
If the courts convict the individual of OWI and require ignition interlock device installation, the convicted individual is responsible for all fees associated with the device. It is not possible to “wait out” the period of ignition interlock requirement.
Even if you choose not to drive after an OWI, the clock “freezes” on the ignition interlock requirement until you decide to apply for a license again. Then you must comply with the ignition interlock requirement.