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A Simple Guide to Wisconsin Ignition Interlock Devices

 Posted on May 19, 2020 in OWI

Muskego OWI defense attorney

Since the 1980s, the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities in the United States has decreased dramatically, from approximately 21,000 deaths in 1982 to 10,500 deaths in 2018. Unfortunately, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), intoxicated driving still accounted for nearly one-third of all traffic deaths in 2018. Drunk driving laws all over the country have become more strict, with Wisconsin being no exception. In certain situations, Wisconsin requires those drivers who are charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle. It is critical to understand what is involved with an IID if you are facing OWI charges.

What Is an IID?

An IID is a small, cell phone-sized device that is electronically wired into your vehicle’s ignition system. The device requires you to provide a breath sample before you are able to start your vehicle. A portion of the device functions like a breathalyzer and determines your blood alcohol content (BAC) from your breath sample. If your BAC is more than 0.02 percent, the device will not allow your vehicle to start. Each time you provide a breath sample, the results are stored in the device’s memory, which will eventually be reviewed by the authorities for compliance. Any attempts to remove, circumvent, or tamper with the device will immediately be reported to the sheriff’s office in your county.

Who Must Have an IID?

In 2010, Wisconsin saw major changes to the way ignition interlock devices were handled. The state of Wisconsin currently requires judges to order an IID for all:

  • Repeat OWI offenders

  • First-time OWI offenders who were tested with a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher

  • Drivers who refuse to submit to chemical testing to determine their BAC

It is important to note that if you are the subject of an IID order, you must have an IID equipped on each vehicle that you own, regardless of the type of vehicle it is. You are also restricted to only operating vehicles that are equipped with an IID, regardless of the reason you are driving or who owns the vehicle.

Who Pays For the Costs Associated With the Device?

If you are the offender, you are responsible for all costs and fees associated with the IID, although certain low-income offenders may apply for a reduction in costs. The expense of an IID varies depending on the vendor. Typically, you can expect to spend anywhere from $900 to $1,200 per vehicle in installation, monthly service, and removal costs for each year you are subject to an IID order.

Contact a Brookfield Criminal Defense Attorney 

Being charged with OWI can be a very stressful experience, especially if you are convicted. A conviction on your record could result in restrictions on your driving privileges and a requirement for you to use an IID. At Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP our goal is to reduce or dismiss your charges altogether. Our team of knowledgeable Waukesha County OWI defense lawyers is here to fight for your best interests. Attorney Peter Wolff is a former Brookfield police detective and has a wealth of knowledge about how the prosecution works. Call our office anytime at 262-232-6699 to schedule your free consultation. We answer our phones 24/7.




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