When is an ignition interlock device required after an OWI?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2023 | Owi

A Wisconsin traffic stop is often a harrowing experience, and it may prove especially so if the stop leads to a charge of operating while intoxicated. Even first-time OWI convictions lead to serious penalties, and you may face fines, license revocations and other repercussions in the aftermath. Depending on the circumstances, you may also have to install an ignition interlock device on your car and any others you drive.

Per the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, an ignition interlock device is something you must install in any car you drive once you regain the ability to drive again. The device measures the amount of alcohol in your body and stops the car from starting if it appears you are under the influence.

Who has to install an ignition interlock device

Not every OWI offender must install and use an ignition interlock device. However, all repeat-OWI offenders must do so. If your breath test revealed that your blood-alcohol concentration met or exceeded 0.15%, then you also have to do so. If you refused to submit to a breath test or provide a blood sample, then you also have to use an ignition interlock device for a period afterward.

How long you have to use the ignition interlock device

How long each offender must use an ignition interlock may vary. However, all offenders mandated to use the device must do so for, at minimum, one year. In the event that you secure an occupational license that allows you to go to and from work, then the “year” does not start until you receive your occupational license.

Once you have the ignition interlock device on your car, tampering with, or trying to “beat” it in any way, has the potential to lead to additional charges or legal trouble.

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