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What is Maryland's ignition interlock program?

People who are facing repeat DUI charges face a variety of penalties in Maryland. In some cases, a person might be required to enroll in the Ignition Interlock Program. This program utilizes an Alcohol Breath-Analyzed Ignition Interlock device that must be installed on each vehicle you drive. It is important to follow all the rules of the program if you want to complete the program on schedule.

What does the ignition interlock do?

The ignition interlock is installed on the vehicle by an authorized provider. Before the vehicle is started, the driver must blow into the device. If the blood-alcohol concentration is too high, the vehicle won't start. The device will also prompt you for tests periodically while the vehicle is already running. Anyone who drives the vehicle, even if he or she isn't the person who has to use the ignition interlock, will have to blow into the device. It must be installed on any vehicle he or she drives because your drivers' license will note the requirement for the ignition interlock.

How are the results monitored?

Every 30 days, you will have to bring the vehicle to the provider. The information that was collected in the device is captured by the provider. That information is sent to the Motor Vehicle Administration. When you go in for the monthly information capture, the device is checked for proper operation.

Understanding the ignition interlock program can be difficult for some participants. Fee schedules, reporting requirements and instructions about your driving privileges can add to the complexities. If you are facing a repeat DUI and feel that the ignition interlock program is something you would like to explore, you should discuss that option as early on as possible.

Source: Maryland Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Administration, "Ignition Interlock Program," accessed Nov. 02, 2015

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