Signed into effect on December 1, 2021 were changes to S.L. 2021-182 (SB 183). This law regards the interlock device equipped to vehicles after a DWI conviction. The most important change to this law includes the 45-day delay period becoming eliminated for a person convicted of an impaired driving offense. This means that there is no longer a wait for an ignition interlock device.
Ignition Interlock Device
An ignition interlock device is a small in-car breathalyzer for measuring the alcohol level in a driver’s breath. These devices are installed for individuals who have been convicted of an under the influence driving offense. When installed, this device prevents the driver to start the vehicle until a breath alcohol test is passed. If the device registers the results as being over the pre-set limit, the vehicle will not start. Installing interlock devices in vehicles is an effective and affordable way to monitor individual drivers convicted of a DWI.
No 45-Day Wait for Ignition Interlock Device
The changes to S.L. 2021-182 (SB 183) eliminate the 45-day wait period between conviction and getting an interlock device installed on an individual’s vehicle. In instances of other driving offenses where limited driving is effective, it is possible to be assigned an interlock device, although not required by law. The device is required by law if there is an alcohol level of 0.15 or more at the time of testing. If the individual meets the criteria, the limited driving privilege and interlock device will be effective immediately following the sentencing, and will no longer have to wait 45 days before having the ignition interlock device installed.
Interlock Device on Selected Vehicle
Prior to December 1, 2021, an individual convicted of an impaired driving offense meeting the criteria was required to have interlock devices on all vehicles in their ownership. While an individual may have ownership of various vehicles, he or she may not be the primary driver on all of them and can request a waiver for a vehicle that is not in their possession. S.L. 2021-182 allows for the interlock device to be installed on vehicles an individual intends to use for the duration of the restriction. Under the law, it is still illegal for anyone issued the interlock restriction to operate a vehicle without the device and can result in a revoked license.
For more information on what vehicles require an interlock device, click here. (G.S. 20-17.8(c1)
Also effective on June 1, 2022, is a portion of fees waived for those who are unable to pay for the installation of an interlock device. Beginning in June, NC DMV will have a waiver posted for individuals to fill out if they need assistance with affording their devices. These individuals are expected to show documentation of income to prove that they meet the criteria for assistance.
For more information and criteria about waived fees for ignition interlock devices, click here. (G.S. 20-179.5)
Effective June 1, 2022 are the lifted restrictions on when and where an individual can drive. These changes allow a person issued a limited driving privilege on or after June 1, 2022 with an ignition interlock device to drive without any time and place restrictions.
Interlock Limit of 0.02
Previously, the interlock device restrictions levels varied from 0.04 to 0.01 based on different situations. The current changes to the law states that the new pre-set limit on all ignition interlocking devices is now 0.02. This does not apply to individuals less than 21 years old, as the restriction level for their device would still be 0.00.
In any case, if a law enforcement officer has any reasonable suspicion that an individual is driving under the influence, they are subject to a chemical analysis to determine if they are in violation of their restriction. All individuals given a limited driving privilege are expected to comply at all times.
For questions or more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at Schehr Law PLLC.