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Frequently Asked Questions About Ignition Interlock Devices in Ohio

If you have been charged with an OVI in Ohio, and you want or need to continue driving, one option that may be available to you is an ignition interlock device.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock is a breathalyzer installed on your car connected to your car’s ignition system.  In order to start the car, you have to blow into the breathalyzer and register a BAC below a preset limit.   If the breathalyzer registers alcohol on your breath, your car won’t start.  Additionally, while you are driving, you may be asked to take the breathalyzer test again to make sure you are not drinking while driving.

If you have an interlock device on your car and your blow above the limit at any time, your results will be sent to your Ohio probation officer.

Where Do I Go to Get an Interlock Device Installed?

The Ohio Department of Public Safety publishes a list of ignition interlock devices certified for use in Ohio.   The list includes installation sites throughout Ohio.

How Much Does an Interlock Device Cost?

The device usually costs around $100-$200 per month, and there may be additional charges for installation or removal.  Costs to install the device are generally around $200-$300.

Who Has to Get an Interlock Device?

In Ohio, state law allows a judge to order an ignition interlock device to be installed in the car of any person found guilty of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.  For instance, the judge can order an interlock device in order for a defendant to obtain driving privileges while under suspension from a DUI charge.

If the judge suspends your license for six months, for example, for a first offense OVI, you may have to have an interlock on your car in order to have driving privileges to and from work or school.  What’s more, an ignition interlock is mandatory for a conviction for a second offense OVI (which carries a minimum license suspension of one year).

How Long Will I Need to Use My Ignition Interlock Device?

How long you will need to use an interlock device will depend on many factors including, for example, your blood alcohol content (BAC) and the number of previous OVI convictions on your record.

If you or someone you know is facing an Ohio OVI and the possibility of being ordered by the court to install an Ignition Interlock Device on their vehicle, you should seriously consider contacting an Ohio OVI attorney regarding to details of your case.