Breath Interlock Device


2019 update on Breath interlock devices:

On October 1, 2018, Senate Bill 259 went into effect making significant changes to Nevada DUI law.  Specifically, amendments concerning driver’s license revocation and the use of breath interlock devices have made it to where having more than the legal limit of alcohol or certain drugs in your system or refusing to submit to testing, will have severe consequences. With the implementation of its new statutory provisions, Nevada joined twenty-nine other states which have instituted mandatory breath interlock laws.  If you have never heard of a breath interlock device, also known as an ignition interlock device, or this law, you may wonder what this change may mean for you.

Changes to the Law

Nevada law requires that when a driver has a concentration of alcohol in his or her blood or breath of 0.08 (the legal limit) or higher, a detectable amount of a controlled substance or a prohibited substance (without a valid prescription), or refuses to submit to testing at the request of law enforcement, that his or her be driver’s license be revoked.

Under the former statute, a driver’s license would have been suspended for 90 days for someone who was above 0.08 or had a measurable amount of a barred material in their urine, or for one to three years under certain circumstances for failing to submit to a test.  In the past, the mandated use of breath interlock devices was connected to the individual’s prior offenses as well as higher blood alcohol readings.

Now, not only will any driver’s license be revoked under these conditions, but he or she will have to pay to install and use a breath interlock device for at least 90 days as a condition of obtaining a restricted license.  Depending on the individual’s history, he or she may be subject to this requirement beyond the mandatory minimum period.   If convicted of a DUI, the judge must order that the driver use the device for at least six months.  This term will be longer for those who had an increased blood alcohol amount of 0.18 or more.  However, if the driver can meet specific criteria, he or she may be exempted from the obligation.

What is a Breath Interlock Device?

A breath interlock device (BID) connects to your vehicle’s ignition system and will not permit you to start the engine without first breathing into it and registering 0.00 blood alcohol.  This means that even if you’ve had less than the legal limit to drink, you will not be able to start your vehicle. Further, once you begin operating your vehicle, the device can prompt you to breathe into it again to make sure you have not consumed alcohol after you started driving.

It can typically cost up to $150 to have a BID installed and then the user has to pay approximately $70 per month for its use.  Each BID comes equipped with a camera which is in place to confirm you are the person providing the breath sample.  Now, under the new law, if any person provides a sample in place of a driver with a BID, he or she can be charged with a misdemeanor offense.

These and other changes to Nevada DUI law have resulted in increased and costly penalties which can extend for months or even years.  Although the Nevada legislature has made clear that DUIs will carry harsh penalties, there are steps you can take to minimize your expenses and damage.  If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is critical that you have the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable DUI attorney as soon as possible.  At the Law Office of Darren Weiss, we are here to provide you with the information you need to protect yourself and make informed choices about your case.   Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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What is a Breath Interlock Device and what do they do?

A Breath Interlock Device, sometimes called an ignition interlock device, is a small unit installed in the car of someone who has been convicted of a DUI. The driver must breathe into the device and the car won’t start if it detects alcohol in the breath. The Nevada State Senate recently passed a Bill regarding these devices taking effect October 1, 2018. Currently, breath interlock devices can be part of the sentencing when the blood alcohol levels in a case were higher than 0.18, or with any felony DUI (vehicular homicide and DUI causing serious injury or death). The new law will mandate breath interlock devices in all DUI cases where the BAC is above 0.08. All costs for interlock devices will be paid by the sentenced driver, and they are not cheap.

This new law is a major departure from current penalties which have been in place for decades. This and several other changes in the law will make the penalties for DUI in Nevada substantially more expensive and inconvenient. Even under the new law, an experienced attorney may be able to negotiate to avoid consequences such as the breath interlock device.

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