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Is an Ignition Interlock Device Required Following a Wisconsin OWI?

 Posted on May 18, 2022 in DUI / OWI

milwaukee owi lawyerBeing arrested for drunk driving can cause a number of difficulties in a person’s life. A conviction for charges of operating while intoxicated (OWI) can result in a number of penalties, including large fines and potential jail time. However, one other issue that can play a significant role in these cases is the loss of driving privileges. An OWI conviction will typically result in a driver’s license suspension, and in some cases, after a person regains their driving privileges, they may be required to use an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicles they drive.

An IID is a breathalyzer device that is installed in a vehicle. A driver will be required to provide a breath sample before driving, and the vehicle will not start if their blood alcohol content (BAC)  is above .02 percent. Depending on the circumstances of an OWI charge, an IID may be required, or a person may obtain an occupational driver’s license that will allow them to drive with an IID during a period of suspension.

When Is an IID Mandatory?

Wisconsin law states that a person will be required to use an IID if they refused to take a chemical blood alcohol test after being arrested on suspicion of OWI, if they are convicted of OWI for a second or subsequent time, or if they had a BAC of .15 percent or more.

When a court orders a person to use an IID, a device must be installed in every vehicle that is registered in their name (with the exception of motorcycles or mopeds). A person will be required to pay the costs of installation, leasing, and regular service of an IID. If a person will be unable to install IIDs in multiple vehicles due to financial hardship, they may be allowed to install an IID in their primary vehicle, and they will be restricted from driving any vehicle that is not equipped with an IID. 

If a person is ordered to use an IID, this requirement will last for one year. This one-year period begins as soon as a person’s driving privileges are restored, and any waiting periods that apply before a person can regain their driver’s license will not count toward the period where an IID is required.

What Is an Occupational Driver’s License?

In cases where a person’s driver’s license has been suspended due to an OWI arrest or conviction, they may apply for an occupational driver’s license that will allow them to drive for certain purposes. The use of an IID may be required while driving with an occupational driver’s license. 

A person will have certain restrictions on when and why they can drive while using an occupational driver’s license. They will be allowed to drive to and from work or school, as well as for household duties, such as going to the grocery store, transporting children, or attending medical appointments. A person will be limited to no more than 12 hours of driving per day and 60 hours per week. 

Contact a Milwaukee, WI OWI Attorney for IIDs

If you have been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, you will want to make sure you take the correct steps to defend against any charges you may face. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, we can provide you with legal representation during your case, and we can help you determine your best options for minimizing the consequences and the effects on your life. If necessary, we can help you obtain an occupational driver’s license or address any issues related to the use of an ignition interlock device, and we will work to limit the disruptions to your life. Contact our Milwaukee OWI defense lawyers at 414-271-1440 to learn how we can help with your case.




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