Driving under the influence comes with serious, life-altering consequences in Georgia – especially if it’s not your first drunk driving offense. In addition to jailtime, hundreds of dollars in fines and a permanent criminal record, you will likely have to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

If you’re convicted of driving while impaired in Georgia, ignition interlock devices are mandatory for all second and subsequent DUI offenses within a five-year period. Unless the court finds you exempt due to financial hardship, you can expect to have that ignition interlock device in your car for six months.

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device (IID), is an in-car breath test that connects to your vehicle’s ignition. The small device requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece that detects their breath alcohol concentration. Without a breath sample that registers below the device’s limit, the car will not start.

Some devices will even require random testing while the car is in motion – known as a “rolling retest.” If you fail the rolling retest, the car will not turn off; however, the car’s alarm may sound or its lights will flash until you pull the vehicle over and turn it off.

The benefits of ignition interlock devices

IID’s may feel like an inconvenience or embarrassment, but it is beneficial to having one in your car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety, IID’s offer the following benefits to those on its program:

  • You still get to drive legally.
  • It reassures your family and friends you are safe.
  • It has a positive impact on reducing drinking habits.
  • You are less likely to drink and drive with the device.
  • You are less likely to get another DUI with the device.
  • It keeps you and others safe on the road.

No one wants to install an IID. But, in the event that you are required to have one, you can at least maintain some normalcy in your day-to-day life and give your family peace of mind.