Ignition Interlock Law

The Tennessee ignition interlock law creates an added burden to those that are convicted of DUI.  Under our Tennessee ignition interlock law, if a person is convicted of a DUI and has a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater, then that person is required by our state to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.  Therefore, if you are convicted of a DUI, then expect to pay thousands of dollars to keep your privilege to drive.  Additionally, if you have a combination of any amount of alcohol with any amount of drugs, then that will also create the ignition interlock requirement.  For example, if you have a blood alcohol level of .01% and marijuana in your system, then a plea of guilty will require you to obtain an ignition interlock device.  Regardless, the judge may also order you to obtain an ignition interlock device as part of your restriction to drive no matter the case. 

If you are convicted for your first DUI, then according to the ignition interlock law you will have to keep the ignition interlock device on your vehicle for one year.  If you are convicted for a second DUI, then you have have to keep the ignition interlock device for two years with the court's permission.  If there is a third conviction, then the ignition interlock requirement is six years with the court's permission.  If there is a fourth or greater conviction, the the ignition interlock requirement is eight years with the court's permission.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Although most people have heard of an ignition interlock device, not many people have experience with their use. The following video provides a short lesson on the functionality and science behind the ignition interlock device.  Basically, if you blow into the device after consuming alcohol, then your car will not start. Additionally, you will be required to blow into the device while driving down the road.  So, don't start drinking while driving.  You may end up stranded and calling a tow truck.

IGNITION INTERLOCK LAW: THE COST

The cost of the ignition interlock device can be crippling and many people fear these fees are unknown. However, the fees for this device are actually prescribed by the legislature.  The installation fee for an ignition interlock device cannot be more than $150.  Approved ignition interlock providers cannot charge more than $100 a month for leasing, monitoring, and maintaining the device.  The removal fee for the ignition interlock device cannot be more than $75.  Therefore, if you are convicted of DUI and required to get an ignition interlock device for one year, you could pay up to $1,375.00 for the use of the device.  This does not include your fines, court costs, and probation fees.  If you are charged with DUI, make sure you understand the total financial implications of this offense.  To see a list of ignition interlock providers, click here.