New Years, 2012, will bring a significant amount of changes in DUI laws for drunk driving or driving under the influence throughout the United States. In Oregon, beginning this Sunday, if you are one of the estimated 11,000 drivers arrested and convicted for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or drunk driving this year, you will be forced to install an ignition interlock device in your car.
Installing an ignition interlock device has been a common DUI penalty for driving under the influence, especially for drivers with multiple DUI convictions, but Oregon now requires even first-time Oregon DUI offenders arrested for drunk driving to install and use this device.
What does the ignition interlock device do?
Ignition interlock devices are traditionally installed on the dashboard of the driver’s car, and the driver must blow into the device, which analyzes the BAC or blood alcohol concentration of the driver. If the driver’s BAC is too high the car will not start.
The ignition interlock device also will require the driver to provide additional breathing samples periodically as they drive. If the driver cannot provide a clean sample, the car will provide a warning (honking horn, lights flashing) and log the event. The “alarm” or warnings continue until the driver shuts the engine off.
Attempts to Bypass the Ignition Interlock Device
Creative drivers who are driving under the influence often attempt to mechanically bypass the system, but given the complexity of most systems, these attempts are generally unsuccessful. The ignition interlock device is made to assess all attempts to “trick” or bypass the system requirements and report these attempts immediately back to the DMV. Unfortunately, the courts do not look favorably on these efforts and most likely will simply extend the required installation period.
It is also illegal to for Oregon drivers who are driving under the influence to solicit another person to blow into their ignition interlock device. According to Oregon law, violation of the law occurs if, “a person unlawfully solicits another to blow into an ignition interlock device or start a motor vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device if the person has such a device as a result of an order or requirement under ORS 813.602 and the person requests or solicits another to blow into the device or start the motor vehicle so as to circumvent the device.”
Drivers who commit this offense will be charged with a Class A traffic violation [1987 c.746 §6; 1989 c.576 §3].
(Information gathered from Chapter 813 of the 2007 Edition of the Oregon Vehicle Code.)
How much does an ignition interlock device cost?
If you are arrested for drunk driving in Oregon and you must purchase an ignition interlock device you can expect to pay between $65-100 per month to rent the device plus additional fees to install it, send information to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state and to pay for regular maintenance.
Hiring a DUI lawyer in Oregon
States continue to pass severe DUI penalties for drunk driving. Drunk driving in Oregon is a serious crime, and if you are arrested for DUI in Oregon, do not try to fight your DUI conviction alone. Even first-time DUI offenders in Oregon can face high fines, fees, increased insurance cost, potential jail time, loss of license and starting in 2012, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device.
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