What if You Can’t Afford an Interlock?
Drunk driving is a serious offense that can have severe consequences, not only for the individuals involved but also for innocent bystanders. In an effort to combat this issue, many states have implemented ignition interlock devices (IIDs) as a requirement for individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) to regain their driving privileges. While these devices have proven to be effective in reducing drunk driving incidents, they can also be expensive, leaving some individuals wondering what options they have if they can’t afford an interlock.
Ignition interlock devices are breathalyzer-like instruments that are installed in the vehicles of individuals convicted of DUI. These devices require the driver to provide a breath sample before starting the car. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car will not start. Additionally, IIDs may prompt the driver to provide random breath samples while the vehicle is in motion to ensure they remain sober throughout the duration of their journey.
While the effectiveness of interlock devices in preventing drunk driving is undeniable, the cost associated with installing and maintaining these devices can be a burden for some individuals. The initial installation cost can range from $70 to $150, and monthly fees can amount to $60 to $80. These expenses can quickly add up, making it challenging for those on a tight budget to afford an interlock.
If you find yourself unable to afford an interlock device, there are some options available to you:
1. Payment plans: Many interlock device companies offer payment plans to help individuals cover the cost of installation and monthly fees. This allows you to spread out the expenses over a specified period, making it more manageable.
2. Financial assistance programs: Some states and organizations offer financial assistance programs for individuals who cannot afford an interlock device. These programs may provide subsidies or discounts to help alleviate the financial burden.
3. Seek legal advice: Consult with a DUI attorney who can provide guidance on your specific situation. They may be able to help you explore alternative options or negotiate reduced fees.
4. Public transportation or carpooling: While it may not be a permanent solution, relying on public transportation or carpooling with friends or family members can help you navigate your daily activities without the need for a personal vehicle.
1. Can I drive without an interlock if I can’t afford it?
No, if an interlock device is required as part of your DUI conviction, you must comply with the court’s order. Failure to do so can result in further legal consequences, including the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges.
2. Can I request a waiver for the interlock requirement?
In some cases, individuals may be eligible for a waiver of the interlock requirement based on financial hardship. However, this varies by state, and the decision ultimately rests with the court. Consult with a DUI attorney to explore this option further.
3. Are there any free interlock programs available?
While free interlock programs are not common, some states offer reduced-cost programs or financial assistance for low-income individuals. Research the resources available in your state or consult with a DUI attorney for guidance.
4. Can I install an interlock device myself to save money?
No, interlock devices must be installed and calibrated by authorized technicians to ensure accuracy and reliability. Attempting to install the device yourself can lead to legal issues and may not meet the requirements set by the court.
5. What happens if I don’t comply with the interlock requirement?
Non-compliance with the court-ordered interlock requirement can result in further legal consequences, such as extended license suspension, fines, or even imprisonment. It is essential to follow the court’s instructions to regain your driving privileges legally and safely.
In conclusion, if you find yourself unable to afford an interlock device, it is crucial to explore the available options and seek guidance from legal professionals. Ignoring the requirement can lead to severe penalties, so it’s important to address the issue proactively. Remember, the safety of yourself and others on the road should always be the top priority, and finding a way to comply with the interlock requirement is crucial for achieving that goal.