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Understanding DUI Arrests in Rhode Island and Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)

Have you been charged with DUI or refusal to submit to a chemical breathalyzer test in Rhode Island? As a consequence, you may chose to or have been ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. This can be the result of either a request for a hardship license, an admission to a refusal or criminal conviction for DUI. IIDs can be useful in one way: they are often required when you want to drive but your license has been suspended. They can also cause you problems. These devices are hard to operate and can produce faulty results that can get you into more trouble.

If you have been charged with DUI or a refusal, Melissa Larsen, Esq., will inform you of your rights and help you understand your responsibilities while you fight a DUI or DUI-related charges. This is especially true if you are required to install an IID to your vehicle. Call or text Melissa at 401-218-0862 to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about your legal options.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a small device installed in a vehicle to measure the amount of alcohol in a person's breath. A driver must breathe into the device before driving, and if the IID registers the presence of alcohol over the legal limit, the car will not start. If the IID registers alcohol under the legal limit, the car can be started but with one caveat: a recorded warning is issued.

Everything the device records is reported to either the court or your state's department for motor vehicles (e.g., Department of Motor Vehicles or Division of Motor Vehicles) – it depends on who ordered the IID device or who manages the IID program.

What Information is Recorded and Reported?

For your own information, it is good to know what information is or can be recorded and reported. Typically, reported information is pursuant to each IID program but may include any of the following:

  • Date and time of each startup or rolling test
  • Location of the vehicle at the time of each test, if equipped with a GPS
  • A photo of you at the time of each test, if equipped with a camera
  • Pass or fail results
  • BAC reading for each test
  • Number of lockouts, if any
  • Indication someone else tried to take the breath test
  • Any tampering with or removal of the IID
  • Missed service visits

When are Results Reported?

Results are reported at different times – again, depending on the specific state and the IID program. Generally, results are reported in real-time or at every service visit.

Why Are Ignition Interlock Devices Required in Rhode Island ?

 Typically the interlock may be ordered in any of the following circumstances:

  • You were investigated for DUI offenses and refused a breath or blood test.
  • Your driver's license was suspended, but you were granted a restricted or hardship license with the installation of an IID as a condition, allowing you to drive back and forth to work, school, doctor appointments, or another court-approved location.
  • You were convicted of drunk driving, and installation of an IID was part of the sentence.

Three Problems Associated with IIDs in Rhode Island

IIDs are flawed devices. Many complaints exist but here are the top three problems.

  1. False Positives. False positives are a reality with IIDs. Common household products (like mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and cough syrup) and foods (like energy drinks, pickles, and fruits) have been known to cause a false positive.
  2. User Error. Like IIDs, people are flawed too. It can be difficult for a person to blow into the device with enough force to register a reading.  This is especially true for older adults and those with certain health conditions.
  3. Multiple Drivers. Many people share vehicles with their spouses and other family members, and there is no way to shut down an IID when the vehicle is being used by someone other than the person it is intended to monitor.  It is important to note if you were ordered to use an interlock, you may operate only the vehicle that has the interlock device installed.

These problems are not insignificant. When an issue arises, it can create more legal worries with the criminal court. The state can also revoke the restricted license, meaning you can no longer drive your vehicle to/from work, school, etc.

Contact DUI / Refusal Defense Lawyer Melissa Larsen, Esq.

If you have been charged with DUI or refusal to submit to a chemical test, it is imperative to seek counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney experienced with DUI and refusal cases in RI. Call or text the Law Office of Melissa Larsen, Esq. at 401-218-0862 or use our online form or calling us for a free initial consultation.

Attorney Larsen Is Here for You

Attorney Larsen handles all types of Criminal, Family Law, and Personal Injury cases. Attorney Larsen will help you successfully navigate your case.

Contact Attorney Larsen Today

Melissa Larsen is prepared to answer your questions regarding DUI/Chemical Test Refusals, Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Personal Injury cases in all four Rhode Island counties. Attorney Larsen is eager to discuss your case, contact her today for a free consultation.