Tennessee Enacts Ignition Interlock Device Law for DUI

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In July 2013 neighboring Johnson County Tennessee, along with the rest of the state, became the latest to enact an Ignition Interlock law. However the Volunteer State will differ from North Carolina in when the devices are to be installed.

Ignition Interlock laws require that those convicted of driving under the influence breathe into a device to measure blood alcohol levels before a vehicle will start, once their driving privileges have been reinstated. Every state has Ignition Interlock laws, however there are variations from state to state.

Tennessee now joins 14 other states with mandatory ignition interlock for all offenses, and becomes the 18th state to require it for first time DUI convictions (blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater).

The new law requires an in-vehicle camera with the installation of every ignition interlock device. The camera will snap a photograph each time the breathalyzer is activated, thus eliminating the chance of someone else blowing for a drunk driver. First time drunk driving offenders will be required to use an interlock device for a period of six months as a condition of a restricted license.

North Carolina passed its Ignition Interlock law in 2007, and requires the device be installed if the BAC is greater than .16 or if the person is a second or subsequent offender within 7 years. North Carolina also requires the devices for 1 year for a license revocation of 1 year, 3 years for a license revocation of 4 years, 7 years if the license was permanently revoked but the court has indicated that it can be restored.

Ignition Interlock device installation costs around $50 to $200, and a monthly rental fee ranges from $50 to $100 according to ignitioninterlockdevice.org.

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