Wisconsin law requires people who receive certain types of OWI convictions to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles to regain their driving privileges. Wisconsin’s governor recently proposed expanding the IID requirement to all drivers who receive an OWI conviction.
What is an ignition interlock device and how would this requirement impact Wisconsin drivers?
What is an ignition interlock device?
Ignition interlock devices force drivers to breathe into a mouthpiece on a device that measure’s their blood alcohol content. The driver can only start the vehicle if the device determines the driver’s BAC is below the threshold in its programming.
IIDs also require drivers to submit additional samples while operating the vehicle to ensure the driver does not start drinking after the initial breath test. If the IID detects a BAC over the threshold, it warns the driver and turns on an alarm until the driver shuts the car off.
What does the Governor’s proposal change?
The Governor’s proposal would require all drivers who receive an OWI conviction to install an IID in their vehicles. This change would bring Wisconsin in line with the 30 other states that require all offenders to install these devices.
Proponents of the change believe this requirement would reduce the number of drunk driving accidents in the state. Opponents cite budget concerns and the impact these devices can have on people’s ability to maintain employment after an OWI conviction.
OWI convictions carry serious penalties that can have long-term impacts on your day-to-day life. If this measure passes, those penalties may increase.