The ignition interlock device is often referred to as a sentencing alternative in DWI cases, like treatment for alcohol abuse, used in place of piling on more jail time.
Judges started handing down ignition interlock devices in DWI cases more than two decades ago. Then, it was far from mandatory under the law. Today, the device is generally required – if you want to drive a car – as part of DWI sentencing in the majority of states (if not all), including North Carolina.
Judges and prosecutors are finding the ignition interlock device to be a useful tool in preventing drunk driving. Prosecutors are recommending it and judges are imposing it in more and more DWI cases.
But, like all criminal sentences, the ignition interlock is every bit a method of punishment as anything else. Here’s how:
And judges have discretion to require the ignition interlock even in first-offense DWI cases where drivers had relatively low blood-alcohol content.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with impaired driving in North Carolina, you risk losing your driving privileges and being forced to pay for the ignition interlock in order to get those privileges back.
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