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Published on 8/14/2022, 6:42:00 PM

Interlock Violation Lawyer Maryland

Ignition Interlock Violation Consequences in Maryland

If you've been ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, you must abide by the order. Unfortunately, some people behave as if the use of a court-ordered ignition interlock device is optional or merely a suggestion. This isn't the case, however, and failing to use an ignition interlock device after being ordered to do so can have serious consequences.

Anyone who attempts to beat the system and drive without his or her interlock device faces potential penalties that simply aren't worth the risk. In this article, we examine the use of ignition interlock devices in Maryland and examine the consequences of violations stemming from the non-usage of such devices.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is a handheld car breathalyzer device that measures the amount of alcohol in a person's system. If the device detects alcohol on a user's breath, it prevents the driver's vehicle from starting. Installing such a device is a common requirement following a drunk driving offense, such as driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated.

In addition to requiring a breath test before a user's vehicle will start, Maryland ignition interlock devices ask for random breath tests while the vehicle is being operated. This prevents an intoxicated driver from having a sober person breath into the device to start his or her vehicle in an attempt to game the system.

Unfortunately, intoxicated drivers sometimes do this to start their vehicles and drive their use of alcohol. If a driver fails to provide a breath test while his or her vehicle is in use, the device records the refusal and sounds an alarm until the vehicle is turned off.

Ignition Interlock Device Program Eligibility

If eligible, a driver may elect to participate in Maryland's ignition interlock program instead of serving an administrative suspension. A driver who elects to participate in the ignition interlock program will be enrolled for:

  • 180 days if he or she submitted to a test indicating an alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 but under 0.15;

  • One year if he or she submitted to a test indicating an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher; or

  • One year if he or she refused to submit to the test.

In addition to electing to participate in the program, drivers may be referred to the ignition interlock program by district courts, administrative law judges, and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. The determinations regarding whether a driver is eligible for or required to participate in the program are typically made by one of the following entities:

  • Maryland District Court

  • Office of Administrative Hearings

  • Medical Advisory Board

In addition, the Motor Vehicle Administration's Administrative Adjudication Division may offer or require a driver to participate in the program if he or she is a repeat offender, has accumulated sufficient points, violates a previously imposed alcohol-related driving restriction, or has received an order of suspension for a refusal or an alcohol test failure?.

Further, under Noah's Law, drivers must participate in the ignition interlock program for the following convictions:

  1. Driving under the influence

  2. Driving while impaired while transporting a minor under the age of 16

  3. Driving while intoxicated with an initial breathalyzer test refusal

  4. Homicide or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated

Ignition Interlock Program Timeframe

When a driver receives information about the program, he or she will be advised of the minimum length of time that he or she must participate. However, this time period can be extended if the program participant violates any of the program rules or has other driving-related problems.

Ignition Interlock Program Costs

Drivers who participate in the ignition interlock program are responsible for all costs associated with the program. Specifically, drivers are responsible for the following costs:

  • The cost to obtain an interlock restricted driver's license from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration

  • The cost to obtain a corrected driver's license from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration when the restriction is removed after the driver is no longer in the ignition interlock program

  • The cost from the ignition interlock service provider for the installation of the ignition interlock device

  • A monthly servicing cost paid to the ignition interlock device vendor

Although drivers are responsible for the above costs, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will waive the enrollment fee for program participants who provide documentation that they are on food or medical assistance. Interlock providers are private organizations that offer interlock devices at various prices that are not set by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.

However, ignition interlock device service providers are required to offer the device at a 50% discount of their normal rate for customers who are on federal food stamps.

Ignition Interlock Program Violations and Consequences

Each time a driver commits a violation of the ignition interlock program, the Motor Vehicle Administration will extend his or her required time in the program by one month. Four or more violations can result in the Motor Vehicle Administration removing the driver from the program. Once a driver is removed from the ignition interlock program, the Motor Vehicle Administration will reinstate his or her original license suspension or revocation.

If the Motor Vehicle Administration removes a driver from the ignition interlock program, her or she may be eligible to be reinstated in the program for the entire originally assigned time after a minimum suspension period of at least 30 days. Violations of the ignition interlock program rules and requirements include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the ignition interlock provider's service agreement, including the payment of all fees and costs associated with the program

  • Failure to install the ignition interlock device and obtain a Maryland driver's license restricted to the operation of vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device

  • Failure to appear for the required monitoring visit every thirty days

  • Operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with a functioning interlock device approved for use in the ignition interlock program

  • Bypassing, tampering with, removing, or rendering inoperable the ignition interlock device or allowing another person to do the same

  • Attempting to start or operate the motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than .025

  • Failure to submit to retests after starting the vehicle

  • Any license revocation or license suspension imposed while participating in the ignition interlock program

Ignition Interlock Violation Lawyer

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If you've received a notice that you are facing an ignition interlock violation, it's important to speak with an attorney today.

Our firm has had success overturning interlock violations at Maryland Motor Vehicle hearings. We can help you keep your driving privileges and challenge violations based on breath alcohol, rolling retest failures, interlock installation, and failure to start vehicle.

We can get you back on the road, and clear up your ignition interlock violations. Don't be afraid of a breath alcohol concentration based violation, or an interlock violation for missing a calibration.

Contact us today for more information.

Contact a Maryland DUI Attorney Today for Assistance

If you have been charged with DUI or DWI in the state of Maryland, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. At FrizWoods, experienced criminal defense attorneys Max Frizalone and Luke Woods will mount an aggressive defense on your behalf, doing everything in our power to ensure that your Maryland DUI or DWI case has a successful outcome.

Our experienced criminal defense lawyers have a deep understanding of the Maryland criminal law system, and we will use this knowledge to provide you with effective and aggressive representation in your Maryland DUI or DWI case. So, if you are in need of aggressive and effective legal defense in your Maryland DUI or DWI case, please contact our firm as soon as possible to schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our talented Maryland DUI attorneys