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Article Updated: March 9, 2023
There are a lot of penalties that can result from an OUI conviction. For many offenders, the worst effect of a conviction is the license suspension. Depending on the circumstances of their arrest and their criminal record, a person can face 150 days to 8 years of license suspension after an OUI or other driving offense. Habitual violators can even lose their licenses permanently.
One way that drivers can get their ability to drive back sooner than sentenced is to install an ignition interlock (IID) device. An IID is a small device that is installed into your vehicle, which will allow you to drive during a portion of your suspension period. It requires the driver to give a breath sample before starting the vehicle. The device checks the breath sample for the presence of alcohol before it allows the user to start the engine. In addition, the IID will likely make you provide a “rolling sample” while driving, which means you’ll have to pull over and blow into the IID at least one time during your trip.
After they are sentenced to license suspension because of an OUI conviction, most people are eager to be able to drive again.
Once you have an ignition interlock device installed in your car, you will be required to use it before starting your car every time. Most devices also require you to re-submit a breath sample occasionally during your trip to make sure that you are not consuming alcohol while you drive or did not have someone else provide the initial sample. There are three rules that all drivers with IIDs must follow:
Violation of any of these laws will lead to your license being suspended again as well as additional charges.
Non-offenders can face charges for assisting an IID driver in breaking any of these laws. According to Maine law, it is illegal for anyone who to:
If you are arrested for tampering with an IID, asking another person to give a sample for you or for operating a car that does not have a device in it while you are still required to, you will face more license suspension. If you were stopped by police for driving under the influence or for making some other driving error, you will face charges for that crime as well as the penalty for an IID violation. The penalties are as follows:
The first thing you’ll need to do is apply for the IID program. However, you can’t apply for the program until you’ve been suspended by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles or you’ve been convicted in criminal court. Once you’ve been suspended, you’ll need to have completed the Maine Driver Education & Evaluation Program (DEEP) before you’ll be eligible for reinstatement. Click here for more DEEP info.
Once you’ve got DEEP completed and your petition for entry into the IID program has been approved, you’ll need to contact one of the two approved manufacturers of the IID device. The information is as follows:
Both manufacturers have numerous locations throughout the state. When making your decision on choosing a manufacturer, take a look at who the authorized installer and where they are located. Location and quality of installation are the two biggest issues and should be the determining factor on which IID to have installed on your car.
While the benefits to being able to drivewith an IID far outweigh the drawbacks, there are some issues you should be aware of. First of all, both IIDs require “rolling tests”. That means that after you blow into the machine to start your car, sometime during the drive, the device will signal you to pull over and provide a sample. If you don’t respond quickly enough, your car’s lights will begin flashing and the horn will begin honking. This will of course, draw the attention of local law enforcement.
Another issue is the sensitivity of the machine. You have to ensure that you don’t use mouth wash, mints, breath spray or perfumes when drivingthe car. The IID is very sensitive and can’t differentiate between cologne and the alcohol you consume. If the machine detects alcohol, it won’t allow you to drive and will log the attempt, which will be sent to the BMV. Thiscould result in a suspension of your driving privileges, so be careful!
It’s cold in Maine. And since we live in a cold state, we all like to start our cars and let them warm up before we get in to drive to work. If you have an IID, you no longer have that luxury. If you start your car and leave it running, you run the risk that the machine may ask you to provide a sample. If you don’t provide a sample within that timeframe, you could get locked out from re-starting the car.
These devices are expensive. You have to pay for the rental, installation, maintenance and removal of the device. The potential costs for an IID are as follows:
If you’ve been charged with an OUI in Maine but you hold an out-of-state driver’s license, your case is much more complicated than the average OUI offense. Out-of-state drivers have to contend with Maine’s BMV and their home state DMV. If the home state has an IID program, we can get you reinstated at home early through enrollment in Maine’s IID program. However, you’ll have to get the IID installed by a Maine installer and it will have to be maintained in Maine. Therefore, if you’re not from New England, this is an unlikely option.
If you’re from out of state and your home state doesn’t have an IID program, you’re out of luck. Your home statemust have an IID program in order to get reinstated early in your home state. Of course, if you have licensing questions, we can help you with those issues. DO NOT try and figure this out by yourself. In my office, we generally consult with an attorney from your home state in order to determine the best way to get your license reinstated. DUI law in Maine and in other states is incredibly complex. Don’t go it alone!
If you are interested requesting the Secretary of State to grant you early license reinstatement, call our office now. The Law Office of William T. Bly can help you get this done. In you have recently been arrested for OUI in Maine and are concerned about getting losing your license, you still have options. Contact our experienced defense attorneys may be able to help you avoid license suspension completely.
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