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Apex Criminal Law Blog

Law Offices Of Wiley Nickel, PLLC


Ignition Interlock - What is it?


Ignition Interlock Devices  are small breath analyzers that check a driver’s breath for alcohol before letting the car’s engine start and during various intervals while driving.


After a DWI conviction, NC DMV places certain alcohol concentration restrictions on drivers. In addition, NC DMV also requires ignition interlock for drivers whose licenses are restored following a conviction for DWI if:

·      You had an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher; or

·      You were convicted of a second offense of DWI, which happened within seven years of the offense for which your license was revoked; or

·      You were sentenced to an Aggravated Level One DWI


Ignition interlock devices restrictions can be troublesome for drivers. Such a restriction requires:

·      You may only operate a vehicle that is equipped with ignition interlock

·      You must personally activate the ignition interlock system before driving the motor vehicle

·      You must contain an alcohol concentration restriction of either .04 or .00


How long you are required to have an ignition interlock device in your vehicle depends on how long your original revocation for DWI was. For example, if you were revoked for one year, then you must have ignition interlock for one year from the date of restoration of your license.


If you are required to have the device installed, you must pay all fees associated with its installation, maintenance and service, which are considered a condition of having your drivers license. Fees associated with ignition interlock are generally only a couple dollars a day, but that can add up quick and cost you around $1,000.00 a year. This cost is in addition to any fines or penalties you are already required to pay as a result of your conviction.


Violating an ignition interlock restriction means that you can be charged with Driving While License Revoked for Impaired Revocation, which is a Class 1 Misdemeanor. A charge of DWLR based on an ignition interlock violation results in your license being suspended pending the resolution of the case.


If you have received a DWI and may be at risk for having an ignition interlock, call 919-585-1486 to make an appointment to speak with one of our attorneys, or stop by the office during regular business hours. You can also reach us directly via e-mail at wiley@wileynickel.com or Kristi@wileynickel.com to schedule an appointment whenever works best for you.

Wiley Nickel