Depending on the circumstances surrounding your Wisconsin operating while intoxicated (OWI) offense, you could be required to mount an ignition interlock device in your vehicle if found guilty. This is not only an expensive penalty, but also an embarrassing one—imagine having to blow into a device to start your car in front of a date or even your boss. Fortunately, an OWI arrest does not a conviction make, and successfully fighting your charges is possible with the right legal counsel on your side.
An ignition interlock device is a small electronic device that measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) before allowing you to start the vehicle. Installed directly into the ignition, the device keeps records of these tests and may alert the court if your BAC is over a predetermined limit.
In addition to taking a test before driving, you may also be required to test again while on the road. Known as “rolling” retests, these additional tests ensure that you don’t ask another person to blow into the unit to start the car. Should you fail this test, your horn may sound or lights may begin flashing until you pull over and turn off the vehicle.
You are responsible for any of the costs associated with an ignition interlock device, including the initial installation, maintenance, and rental fees. Typically, an ignition interlock device is required for at least one year following the reinstatement of your license. These devices are required to be placed in any vehicles that are in your name.
Not everyone convicted of OWI is required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles; however, it may be ordered if you have more than one prior OWI offense on your record, refused to take a blood or breathalyzer test, or your BAC was .15% or higher.
An ignition interlock device is only one of the consequences you face if you plead guilty to OWI—you also face a suspended driver’s license, fines, and even a permanent criminal record that could affect future job opportunities. At Tracey Wood & Associates, we know how much you have to lose after an OWI arrest, and we’re dedicated to doing everything possible to reduce the impact your charges have on your life.