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When the state locks down your car ignition

Under penalty of DUI conviction in Oklahoma, you may still be able to operate a motor vehicle with certain restrictions. If you took a chemical test at the time of your arrest that registered your blood alcohol content level at .15 or higher, then the state requires you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. If you happen to have more than one vehicle registered in your name, you will need one of these devices in each one.

The good news is that means you can still drive. That is also good news because it means you can still get to work and have means of transportation to serve all your other travel needs as well. In certain circumstances, however, your car may not start. Much depends on your breath -- not its state of freshness, but whether the mobile breath test device attached to your ignition interlock system detects alcohol on your breath before you start your car.

Get the facts before you drive

Some people refuse to take Breathalyzer tests when Oklahoma police officers lawfully ask them to do so. When you obtained a driver's license in this state, you implicitly agreed to comply with lawful requests for chemical testing, and also to undergo automatic driver's license suspension for your refusal. If you are installing an ignition interlock device in your car, you obviously did not refuse a Breathalyzer or other chemical test. However, before you try to drive, there's a few things you should know.

  • There are certain situations where you may be able to drive in particular circumstances even if you have a suspended license. To do this, you will likely have to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
  • These devices work by requiring you to take a breath test before you start your car. If you test negative for alcohol, your vehicle will start. If you don't, it won't.
  • Most IIDs also prompt period retesting while you're on the road. This prevents testing clean, then driving, but stopping off somewhere to consume alcohol before arriving to a final destination. You must pass each re-test for the car to keep running.

In short, there are several types of situations that may necessitate installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for you to be able to drive following a driver's license suspension or DUI conviction.

There are costs associated with such devices, for which you will be responsible if the court orders you to install one in your car. Some people think they can beat the system by having other people blow into the devices for them, so the car will start. This could lead to serious legal problems. An experienced attorney can provide support to anyone facing legal trouble related to ignition interlock systems.

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