Wisconsin Ignition Interlock Device Law

Wisconsin Ignition Interlock Device Law

A court will require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle if you are convicted of an OWI in Wisconsin or when you refuse the BAC test. It is only through a BAC test that authorities can know whether your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or more, which is the BAC limit in Wisconsin. An experienced OWI lawyer can offer representation and legal advice about IIDs if you have been arrested for an OWI offense.

What Is An Ignition Interlock Device

 An IID is an electronic device that is attached to a vehicle’s ignition system. The driver has to breathe into the device to start the vehicle. Your vehicle will only start if your breath is alcohol free. Trying to trick the device by drinking after the car starts is also pointless because it will prompt you to submit a sample randomly when you are driving. The device will activate your vehicle’s horn and emergency lights if alcohol is detected when the vehicle is moving. You can only turn off the horn and the lights by stopping your vehicle and turning it off.

OWI Penalties

Wisconsin Ignition Interlock Device LawFor a first OWI offense, the court will only order you to install an IID if your BAC level was .15% or higher. They will also suspend your license for 6 to 9 months in that situation, but you can apply for an occupational license. A second OWI conviction 10 years or more after a prior conviction will also lead to the IID requirement.

However, if your second conviction is within 10 years after the first conviction, you will need to wait 45 days before you apply for an occupational license. You also need to wait 45 days to apply if you are convicted for a third or subsequent OWI offense. Installing an ignition interlock device is mandatory for a third and subsequent OWI convictions, and for all BAC test refusals.

Getting Your Ignition Interlock Device

All you need to do is schedule an appointment with one of the many IID companies that have been approved in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation website has a list of approved IID companies that you can choose from. But you should know that IIDs are not cheap. You will have to pay $50 to $150 for the device to be installed and then pay $50 to $150 for monthly IID monitoring. Then when you complete the suspension or revocation period, you will have to pay $50 to $150 to have the device removed from your vehicle.

Waiting Out The IID Order

You cannot wait out the IID order because it is a separate penalty from the driver’s license suspension or revocation. In other words, it is a mandatory penalty that you cannot avoid unless your lawyer successfully negotiates for the requirement to be dropped. But getting the requirement to be dropped is only possible if it’s your first OWI offense. The time period for the IID device begins running from the moment you get an occupational license. Your OWI lawyer can answer all your questions about Wisconsin OWI laws.