In Rhode Island, an ignition interlock device is a device that prevents individuals from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The device operates as a breathalyzer attached to an individual's vehicle. The penalties for a number of different alcohol related motor vehicle offenses, including Rhode Island DUI charges (drunk driving) and Rhode Island refusal to submit to a chemical test violations, include the ability for the sentencing Judge to order an individual to utilize an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for a period of time prior to full reinstatement of their driving privileges.
The ignition interlock device must be installed by an authorized and DMV approved interlock company. When the device is installed, you will be given a “certificate” of installation that will be needed both in court and at the DMV. You will also be given a tutorial and instructions about how to use the device.
How does the ignition interlock device work?
The ignition interlock device functions as an in-car breath test machine. Prior to starting, you must blow into the device and submit a blood alcohol content below 0.02 (the legal limit is 0.08). If you are able to start the vehicle, you will be able to use the vehicle with the device. As you are using the vehicle, the device will require that you continue to submit breath samples as you are driving to ensure that you are not drinking and driving.
If you blow over the 0.02 level numerous times, the device will lock and you will not be able to start the vehicle. Once the device has been locked, you must pay to have your vehicle towed to the ignition interlock service station to have the device unlocked.