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What is the Ignition Interlock Program in Maryland?

| Apr 30, 2015 | Drunk Driving

When a person is convicted of drunk driving offenses in Maryland, he or she might have to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. This program requires that participants have an ignition interlock device installed on all vehicles they drive.

How will police officers know I am required to have an ignition interlock?

There is an indication on their drivers’ license that states they have a restriction on their license. These drivers will have a “J” under the RESTR heading on their license. Proof that the ignition interlock has been installed by an MVA authorized Ignition Interlock Service Provider is required to get a drivers’ license when you are required to participate in the program.

What happens after the device is installed?

In Maryland, you have to report back to the installer every 30 days so they information captured in the interlock device can be collected. The device is also tested at this time. Each time you start the vehicle, you have to blow into the device so it can take a reading of your blood alcohol concentration. If it is higher than the maximum set by law, the vehicle won’t start, and you have five minutes to try again or it is counted as a strike against you.

How often do I have to use the ignition interlock device?

In each monitoring period, you have to use the device at least 50 times. If you don’t do that, you will get a letter that says you have a low starts violation. If you have a valid reason for not using the ignition interlock device, you can contact the MVA with an explanation. It is important for you to understand the rules of the program so that you don’t end up in more legal trouble.

Source: Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration, “Ignition Interlock Program,” accessed April. 30, 2015