Understanding North Carolina's Interlock Device Laws

Certain DUI offenders in North Carolina may be required to use an ignition interlock device in their vehicles.

People who have been convicted of a DUI in North Carolina may be required to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. These devices are designed to keep convicted DUI offenders from committing another offense, while giving them the ability to continue driving. Not only does this allow people who have been convicted to get to work, school, doctor's appointments and other necessary destinations, but it protects them from making unhealthy decisions that may affect other peoples' lives as well.

What are Ignition Interlock Devices?

These small machines are wired directly into a vehicle's ignition system and have a dashboard monitor that, in some models, also has an attached camera. Before the car will start, the driver must blow into a tube that is connected to the monitor. The device then measures the amount of alcohol contained in the breath sample. Once the car is started, the driver is prompted to submit random breath samples in order to keep the vehicle running. If at any time the driver submits a breath sample that has a blood alcohol content level that is over the preset limit, an alarm will sound until the vehicle is shut off.

All of the information, such as startup attempts, BAC levels and lockouts, is recorded within the device. When the interlock device is taken in for mandatory maintenance appointments, the information is transmitted to officials.

Ignition Interlock Device Laws

Not all convicted DUI offenders are required to use an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. Only repeat DUI offenders and drivers who had a blood alcohol content level measuring 0.15 percent or higher may be ordered to have the devices installed. According to North Carolina regulations, there are other requirements must also be met in regards to ignition interlock devices. Drivers must not have a BAC level greater than 0.04 percent or else the vehicle equipped with the interlock device will not work. Furthermore, convicted drivers are responsible for having the devices installed and activated before operating the vehicle.

Defending Your Rights

If you have been charged with a DUI, you may feel overwhelmed at the potential consequences you face. In addition to the hefty fines and driver's license revocation, convicted offenders may have trouble finding employment in certain industries, obtaining financial loans and/or regaining their driver's license. An attorney in North Carolina who has extensive knowledge of the DUI laws may be extremely helpful to your case. Not only will they look at the specific circumstances of the situation, but they may help to ensure all of your rights are upheld in court.