The length of time a convicted DUI offender faces having to use interlock systems on his or her vehicle will greatly vary from case to case often based on a combination of relevant factors. In short, the length of time requiring the use of an ignition interlock device is determined by state statute, in certain states, which is based on the specific DUI offense a driver is convicted of, as well as whether this is a first or subsequent offense. The majority of states do not have a specifically outlines timeline requiring ignition interlock devices for convicted DUI offenders, and in turn, the decision is made on a case by case basis at the discretion of the courts. In practice, in order to promote fairness and increase efficiency, the length of time using an ignition interlock device required in a given jurisdiction will be somewhat standardized in most cases, but not necessarily mandated by law. In these and other DUI-related matters, having legal counsel can prove instrumental in determining the potential penalties associated with a given DUI case, as well as taking action to mitigate the potential fallout from these penalties.
State Laws on Ignition Interlock Devices
Certain states, such as the state of California, have enacted statutes outlining mandatory timelines for ignition interlock devices in DUI offenders (Five (5) months for first time offenders in California). Others, however, treat the use of ignition interlock devices as a matter of court discretion, allowing for the presiding judge to determine whether a given driver can use the device as part of an alternative sentence in lieu of incarceration, as well as for how long these devices must be used. In certain cases, administrative hearings may require the use of an ignition interlock device, outside of the criminal sentencing, in order to retain a suspended or revoked license on the grounds of hardship prior to the mandatory suspension period expiring.
Getting Legal Help with Ignition Interlock Sentences in DUI Cases
Having legal counsel represent one’s interests in a DUI sentencing is important. Sentences are more often than not subject to the court’s discretion and plea bargaining deals beforehand with prosecutors. Highly individual factors may play a role in this process, which can be molded to benefit the individual offender, often allowing him or her to continue employment or care for dependants. Without legal counsel and representation, this outcome is simply not feasibly possible in most cases.