Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense. It puts you and others on the road near you in danger as you are more likely to cause a deadly accident. When you are arrested for DUI, you can expect to face a lot of consequences.
One of these consequences is the immediate suspension of your driver’s license. Of course, we rarely appreciate the privilege of driving until after that privilege is no longer extended to us. There might be a workaround to this suspension, however, if you qualify for it and can afford it: the ignition interlock program.
What is the ignition interlock program?
Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program is an opportunity for someone charged with drunk driving to resume driving in a restricted capacity. An ignition interlock is a tool that connects a vehicle’s ignition system to a breathalyzer. This system requires drivers to blow into the breathalyzer before the car can turn on. If it registers a breath alcohol content (BAC) level greater than 0.025, the vehicle’s ignition will not start. Not only that, but the ignition interlock will also intermittently require the driver to test throughout the duration of the drive.
Participation in this program is expensive. You will have to pay for the equipment installation, maintenance and removal. You will also need to pay for your restricted license designation and any other administrative fees. There are some allowances for reduced fees, however, if you are on medical or food assistance.
You should also know that data regarding usage including failed attempts to start the car, miles driven, failed rolling retests, the number of times you start and stop the car and other information are electronically shared with the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
While the ignition interlock program might be a good fit for you, it also requires a solid understanding of your rights and responsibilities. You may want to receive legal guidance on what your best options are for your circumstances.