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Missouri DUI Law and Ignition Interlock Device Basics

Interviewer: What is the ignition interlock device?

Kevin Roach: The ignition interlock device is a breath test device that you install on your vehicle’s ignition. It is required that you blow into the ignition interlock device prior to starting your vehicle. The breath test has to be negative for alcohol when you blow into it. Otherwise, your car won’t start.

Interviewer: How is this viewed as far as a penalty? At what point can it be ordered?

Kevin Roach: In Missouri, the ignition interlock device is required under a number of circumstances. One of the most common circumstances you see it is if someone has a prior DUI offense.

Under current Missouri law, a person who has two or more DUI, DWI or BAC convictions, must have an ignition interlock device installed in order to have his or her driver license reinstated. The ignition interlock device must be maintained on the offender’s vehicles for a period of at least 6 months. Under this act, if monthly monitoring reports show during the period of reinstatement that the ignition interlock device has registered blood alcohol concentration readings above the set point established by the department of transportation, or that the person has tampered with or circumvented the device, then an additional six months will be added to the person’s reinstatement.

Another one of the more common ways I see it is if someone has a really high BAC or maybe there were some extenuating circumstances surrounding their DUI arrest. The prosecutor or the judge may require it be installed on the person’s vehicle in order to drive even though it’s a first offense. It may be a condition on their probation or it may just be a condition of the court just to safeguard the community.

Recently, there was a change in the law. It was effective July 5th. We’re going to be seeing a lot more of these ignition interlocks in the cars, for instance, on first offense cases. This is section 302.525 in the Missouri Revised Statutes. This is affecting suspensions and revocations of driver’s licenses.

Basically, section 302.525 changed the law. Prior to this law being in effect, if there was a 90-day suspension of your license, there was no avenue for you to be able to drive during the first 30 days. Under this change in the law, you can obtain a limited driving permit from the get-go if your license is going to be suspended. There’s no 30-day waiting period as long as you install an ignition interlock on your vehicle. If you have it on there for 75 days and there’s no positive breath test on the machine, you are able to drive and not lose your driving privilege. It would just be limited to having the breath machine on your vehicle.

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Kevin J. roach is a St. Louis DWI defense attorney who has defended thousands of DWI and DUI cases in the St. Louis Metro area. Call us today at (636) 519-0085 or (866) 519-0085 for your Free Consultation!

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