In the aftermath of a DWI conviction, you may have a lot of questions about what happens next. One of the most pressing questions for many facing a DWI conviction is how it will impact their return to daily life. The revocation of driving privileges has the potential to cause major disruptions to one’s life. The inability to drive to and from work, participate in social events, and fulfill household duties by running errands can take a serious toll.
One way to get back to day-to-day life and resume some normalcy as quickly as possible is with the use of an ignition interlock device (IID). While these devices do provide some degree of freedom, many people facing a DWI conviction are interested in ignition interlock removal and want to know how they can fully return to driving without restrictions.
Here you’ll learn more about the use of IIDs in Missouri and how you can go about getting an ignition interlock removal.
1. Who has to use an IID in Missouri?
An Interlock Ignition Device (IID) refers to a piece of technology that is installed on motor vehicles in order to ensure that the individual operating the vehicle is not under the influence. Typically, the device fits in the user’s hand and connects to the dash of the vehicle. It’s operated by blowing into the device to take a deep lung sample in order to analyze alcohol blood levels before the vehicle will be operational.
In Missouri, individuals who have been convicted of DWI — by operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or above — may be eligible for Restricted Driving Privileges or Limited Driving Privileges. In both of these instances, the installation of an IID may be a required condition of driving. Those who are facing their first alcohol conviction are eligible for an immediate 90-day Restricted Driving Privilege, which can alleviate the disruption of daily activities with the condition that an IID is installed. Those who are facing a second or subsequent alcohol conviction may be eligible for a Limited Driving Privilege — also called a “hardship license.” Receipt of an LDP is typically dependent upon the installation of an IID.
2. What does the installation of an IID include?
An individual installing an IID on their vehicle as part of a court order must use one of the manufacturers listed on the Missouri Department of Transportation webpage. Depending on the details of the IID requirement, some manufacturers may not be eligible for installing the IID. If an individual’s driving privilege is currently under a 5- or 10-year denial period, the IID must be accompanied by the installation of GPS and camera technology. Those who are not under 5- or 10-year denial do not typically have to install a GPS and camera, but in some instances, the details of their court order may also require them. In these instances, the list of approved manufacturers is more limited.
3. How is the IID monitored in Missouri?
All drivers with an IID in the State of Missouri are required to report to the manufacturer for monthly maintenance checks. These checks ensure that the device is operating properly and also allow for the downloading of a data report. This monthly report will show any violations, which will be reported to the State. The inclusion of violations on the report may extend the IID time period requirement.
4. What happens if I attempt my own ignition interlock removal?
It is very important that you do not attempt ignition interlock removal until you are certain that the required time period has passed. Early removal of the IID will result in immediate re-suspension of driving privileges. In addition, there are reinstatement fees associated with the continuation of IID use. Those driving on a Restricted Driving Privilege or a Limited Driving Privilege face the termination of these privileges if the IID is tampered with or removed prematurely.
5. How does ignition interlock removal work in Missouri?
When it is time to remove your IID, it is very important that you first check with the Missouri Department of Revenue to ensure that you are, indeed, eligible for removal. Early removal can result in an extension of limitations and the re-suspension of driving privileges. The manufacturer is also required to report any violations to the Department of Revenue, and these reports may extend the time period before which ignition interlock removal is allowed.
When you are facing a DWI charge, it can be overwhelming to sift through all the details of the impacts and next steps. Keeping track of your responsibilities, options, and requirements while also navigating the consequences of the DWI can be a difficult task. If you have any questions about your DWI conviction, reaching out to an experienced attorney can help set your mind at ease and give you a clear path forward. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.