What is the Ignition Interlock Program?

An ignition interlock is a device that is installed on your vehicle and requires that you blow into the device before driving. It measures the blood alcohol concentration on your breath to determine if you have been drinking.

For those convicted of their first offense of driving while intoxicated in Maryland and their blood alcohol concentration was .15 or higher, an ignition interlock is required for one year as a part of sentencing. The court, however, has the option of ordering the defendant to only operate vehicles that have an ignition interlock for one to three years.

Those whose driver’s licenses are suspended because of the state’s point system for a DWI conviction may get a restricted license by participating the Ignition Interlock Program. Those who are subject to revocation of their driver’s licenses because of a DWI may participate in the IIP in order to have theirs suspended instead. Someone who is considered a habitual offender because of a fourth or subsequent offense must participate in the IIP for at least 24 months.

There are costs associated with this program, including for the installation and maintenance of the ignition interlock. Furthermore, there is a fee for a restricted driver’s license and a fee to have the restriction removed from your license.

As you can see, the IIP can help those who are facing suspension or revocation for DWI and other alcohol-related driving offenses. An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide more information about the IIP and how it may apply to your current case or conviction for DWI.

Source: Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, “Ignition Interlock Program,” accessed Nov. 04, 2015