Indiana House Bill 1020 would permit judges discretion in requiring any convicted drunk driving/OWI to install an alcohol-detecting ignition interlock device (IID) in his or her car. Current Indiana law only allows for an ignition interlock requirement after a second offense OWI conviction.
However, the bill may still be changed during the legislative process to require the devices after any 1st offense drunk driving conviction. MADD and other advocacy groups are pushing for an even tougher bill. Industry groups that represent restaurants believe a mandatory 1st offense IID requirement is far too strict, and unfairly punishes average people who may have made a 1 time mistake and been caught barely over the limit.
An ignition interlock device is a portable breathalyzer that attaches to a vehicles ignition system. In order for the vehicle to be allowed to start, the driver must blow into this device and register under a .03% Breath Alcohol Content. After a second or multiple offense OWI conviction, these devices are required as a condition of license reinstatement during probation. The period of use is typically at least six months.
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will issue a restricted license for the duration of the requirement as imposed by the courts. The driver will not be allowed to drive any vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock installed, during that period. Motorists must install the device at their own expense, and pay for monthly maintannce and monitoring of the device.
There are additional criminal charges and license suspensions for anyone who either tampers with the interlock devices, or drives another vehicle without one installed.
We will update this site when the law is finalized and passed.
If you are accused of OWI / drunk driving in Indiana, please contact our attorneys today for your free case evaluation. We can help you decide what do to about your case – whether to contest the charges in court, or work out the best plea agreement possible. The goal is to minimize the difficulties in your life, and the penalties you are likely to face. Contact us today to take advantage.