An OWI and getting to know your new ignition interlock device

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2022 | Owi

In the state of Wisconsin, there are several reasons for a judge to order an ignition interlock device (IID).

If the court orders the installation of such a device in your vehicle, you will have at least one year to become comfortable with the use of the IID.

Qualifying for an IID

An IID is a device roughly the size of a mobile phone that measures breath alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. The driver of a vehicle equipped with an IID must blow into a mouthpiece on the device and if the BAC is within the acceptable range, the vehicle will start. In Wisconsin, a judge will order an IID for various reasons:

  • A repeat OWI offender
  • A first-time offender with a BAC of 0.15% or higher
  • Anyone who declines to provide a blood or breath sample after a traffic stop

You must install an IID in every vehicle registered to you. However, IIDs are not required on motorcycles, autocycles or mopeds.

Leasing the device

You must lease an IID from an approved service provider. You are responsible for paying the fees, including installation, monthly servicing and the removal of the IID at the end of your restriction period.

Understanding medical condition rules

There are no medical exemptions. If you have a medical condition that causes problems for you when attempting to provide breath samples, you can try changing to another IID device. If the issues continue, you may have to submit to a medical examination followed by behind-the-wheel testing.

Applying for an occupational license

If you wish to apply for an occupational license from the Division of Motor Vehicles, the DMV will only permit you to drive a vehicle equipped with an IID. However, the license will enable you to drive for essential reasons, such as to and from work.

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