The North Carolina criminal courts can impose many different penalties after someone please guilty to a driving under the influence (DUI) offense. The most common penalties include probation, fines and jail time. People can also expect the state to suspend their driver’s licenses following an impaired driving conviction.
Eventually, even those who plead guilty to a DUI offense will be able to regain their licensees and start driving again. For some of those drivers, there will be an extra step necessary before they have full driving privileges again. They may have to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles.
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a kind of chemical breath test installed in your motor vehicle. It will prevent the engine from starting if you failed the breath test. When will North Carolina require an IID for you to regain your license?
When you had a high BAC
One of the most common reasons for drivers to need to install an IID in any vehicle they drive after regaining their license is that they had an unusually high blood alcohol concentration (BAC). For most drivers, arrest is likely when a test shows their BAC at 0.08% or higher. Those who test at nearly double that amount, 0.15% or higher, will usually need to install an IID in their vehicles before they regain full driving privileges.
When you have prior DUI offenses
Someone with multiple previous DUI charges is more likely than the average driver to be subject to an IID requirement after a conviction. Even one prior DUI offense within the last seven years could be sufficient for the state to justify requiring you to install an IID in your vehicle.
When you refuse chemical testing
Drivers in North Carolina have to abide by the implied consent law to operate motor vehicles on public roads. Those who refuse chemical testing when an officer has probable cause to request it will face additional licensing penalties beyond what the state imposes for and impaired driving offense. They may also have to install an IID when they regain their license even if they have no prior offenses and their BAC was only a little over the legal limit.
Although having an IID in your vehicle can be a source of frustration, it can also help you establish a verifiable record of compliance with traffic laws. Learning more about how North Carolina penalizes DUI charges will help those recently arrested.