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What is an ignition interlock device?

Being accused of drunk driving is a serious matter. An individual may be afraid of such accusations, and rightly so. Drunk driving allegations can not only leave a Georgia resident facing the possibility of jail time, fines, and licenses suspension or revocation, but it can also damage his or her reputation, drastically affecting personal and professional relationships. A drunk driving charge or conviction could indirectly, or directly, cause an individual to lose his or her job, reduce the amount of time he or she spends with family, and decrease his or her ability to find work and get to educational institutions.

As if these penalties are not enough, an individual convicted of drunk driving may also be forced to implement an ignition interlock device into his or her vehicle. These machines require a driver to give a breath test and, if a certain level of blood-alcohol content is detected the vehicle will not start.

In Georgia, such a device must be installed in an offender's vehicle if he or she has been convicted a second or subsequent time. The machine must be installed once the convicted individual's driving privileges are reinstated and must remain in place for at least one year. If an individual is subjected to an ignition interlock device, then his or her driving privileges will also be limited to traveling to school, work, treatment sessions, and visits for purposes of monitoring.

An ignition interlock device can not only create difficulty in an individual's travel accommodations, but it can also be quite costly. This matter, taken together with the other penalties mentioned above, can be overwhelming. Therefore, those who are facing drunk driving charges may find it in their best interest to speak with an experienced and competent Georgia criminal defense attorney.

Source: National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Ignition Interlock Laws," accessed on Jan. 18, 2014

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