You’ve just been released from jail on bail bond and there are conditions for your release, including an ignition interlock being installed in your car. What is it and how do you use it to remain in good standing with your parole officer?

An ignition interlock is a device installed in your car that measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) with the use of a breathalyzer before your car can be started. If your blood alcohol levels exceed the legal limit or the limits imposed upon you as conditions of your release on bail, the device will temporarily prevent your vehicle from starting, even when a key is inserted in the ignition. Often these devices will lock the ignition for increasingly longer periods of time for every instance that the driver fails the breathalyzer. Most states require that the device prompt you to re-test frequently during the drive, ensuring that a driver cannot simply consume alcohol after the car has been successfully started.

What’s Good About Having Your Driving Restricted?

While it may be inconvenient to take a breathalyzer test multiple times per drive, the device is meant to give freedom and autonomy back to an offender released on bail. Alcohol monitoring devices allow a person convicted of DUI to go to school or work as normal and attend any necessary counseling and court appearances as determined by a judge. Driving is a privilege for everyone, and insuring the public’s trust while you await trial is a small price to pay to be able to use it.

How Can You Get Your Driving Privileges Restored?

In the state of Georgia it is required that a driver convicted of a DUI offense have their licence revoked. You must complete your suspension period, usually 120 days, before you can use an interlock device to complete the requirements of your parole. Sometimes you may need to complete or be actively enrolled in DUI school or an alcohol risk reduction program before you may utilize an ignition interlock device. Once you have met all of the requirements, you can make an appointment to have an interlock installed, usually at your own cost, to be able to drive yourself for the duration of your parole period. Your license is still considered “restricted” until all conditions are met as determined by a judge.

Regardless of why you have an ignition interlock in your car or how long you will have to use it, be glad you have the freedom to drive yourself so that you may continue your normal daily activities and not rely on others for transportation. An ignition interlock device will help you stay on track with your recovery and rehabilitation, as you will not be able to consume alcohol and make it to all of your court-ordered appointments.

Driving with restrictions is certainly better than being in jail. Here’s what you can expect if you ever find yourself in jail.