Ignition interlock Requirement After Some DWI Convictions – Being charged with Driving While Impaired (DWI) in North Carolina can be a complicated and stressful time.  Though DWI in North Carolina is a misdemeanor in North Carolina it has unique characteristics such as its own rules regarding sentencing and its own collateral consequences.

With some DWI convictions, in addition to the normal license suspension, fines, and community service, you may also have to install an ignition interlock in your car.  In this blog we will discuss this.  Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only, and not as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a DWI attorney

What is an Ignition Interlock?

An ignition interlock device is an instrument that is installed in a vehicle that measures the blood alcohol content of the driver.  The blood alcohol content results are recorded and reported, and violations have consequences.

The device can also keep your vehicle from starting if it registers a certain blood alcohol content.

When do I need to have an ignition interlock device installed?

If you have been found guilty of a DWI and your blood alcohol content was a .15 or above, you would be required to get an ignition interlock device for at least some time in order to be able to drive again.

Ignition interlocks and limited driving privilege

  • If you have been convicted of DWI, and there was the aggravated factor found that you had a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher, there is a 45-day waiting period from the time of conviction before you could apply for a limited driving privilege. Additionally, you would have to have an ignition interlock device installed and maintained in our vehicle for the entire duration of the limited driving privilege.

Ignition interlocks upon driver’s license reinstatement

  • After you serve your period of suspension for DWI, if there was the aggravated factor that you had a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher, one of the terms of your reinstatement is going to be to have an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for a period of at least one year.

***The laws regarding ignition interlock and how it relates to reinstatement of your driver’s license are covered under North Carolina General Statute 20-17.8.

DWI law can be very complicated and very detailed and often requires professional assistance to navigate through. If you have been charged with DWI in North Carolina or DUI in South Carolina, contact us.

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