Before 2019, the state of Idaho required an ignition interlock device only for a second DUI conviction or a felony DUI conviction. Starting January 1, 2019, Idaho also requires first-time DUI offenders to equip their vehicles with an ignition interlock device.
What is an ignition interlock device?
An ignition interlock device is a system that you install in your automobile’s ignition. The device prevents the car from starting until you have blown into a mouth tube. If the machine registers any alcohol on your breath, it will continue to block the car from starting.
When do I have to get the device installed on my car?
The state of Idaho requires installation of the device on your vehicle within ten days of reinstating your driver’s license once the mandatory driver’s license suspension is complete. The court may give you a restricted driving permit to drive to work or school after it suspends your license. You will not have the interlock device on your vehicle during the suspension. You will only be required to have the interlock after the driver’s license suspension is over.
How long must I have the interlock on my car?
The state of Idaho requires you to keep the interlock on your car for one year following the driver’s license suspension. Even if you have been driving on a restricted work permit granted by the court, it will still be a full year from the day your license is reinstated before you can drive without an interlock device again.
Are there any exceptions to having an interlock device installed on my car after a first DUI conviction?
The court can grant an exception to the interlock requirement. Idaho Code 18-8002(12) states:
Upon motion of the person required to install an ignition interlock device pursuant to subsection (4)(b) of this section, a court in its discretion may relieve the person from the installation of the device where the court finds it clear and convincing that the person will not present a danger to the public or that there are exceptional or mitigating circumstances demonstrating that installation of the device is unnecessary or unwarranted. Financial hardship, standing alone, is not an exceptional or mitigating circumstance.Idaho Code 18-8002(12)
How the Courts are handling this exception varies. However, it is clear that the burden of proof on the person petitioning for an exception is high. The standard of proof is “clear and convincing.” Also, the requirement for an exception is a showing of “exceptional or mitigating circumstances.” Exceptional usually means “out of the ordinary,” something that sets you apart from the typical DUI case. Finally, it is important to note that the rule specifically states that simply telling the judge you can’t afford it is not going to be enough.
To improve your chances of a court granting this request, you should consider retaining an attorney to assist you in the matter.
How do I get an interlock device installed on my car?
There are several providers in Idaho that provide interlock devices. The Idaho Department of Transportation has a list of providers on its website.