How much do you know about ignition interlock law in Georgia? DUI laws vary by state, meaning so do their penalties. Ignition interlock, while it is a rather pesky device, allows a DUI offender to still drive, even if they could be given a suspended license.
The device itself has to be installed by the driver in his or her car. Once it's installed, the driver must then blow into the device every time they get into their car. If the system registers the driver's breath with no trace of alcohol detected, then the engine will start. If there is any alcohol detected over approximately 0.00%, the engine won't start.
In addition to those basics, here are three things you should know about ignition interlock laws in Georgia:
- Second-time offenders. Most states, like Georgia, only require an ignition interlock device if someone has received two or more DUIs. Therefore, for first-time offenders, the usual punishment of a license suspension will be their only option. However, recently there have been more and more proposals and support for either a uniform rule for all 50 states, or just for some states to implement the ignition interlock device as part of a first-offender's punishment.
- Mouthwash and other 'non-alcohol' Those with the device should be wary not only about drinking alcohol closely before getting into a car, but other items that contain alcohol. Alcohol containing products like mouthwash, cough syrup, or even hand sanitizer can set off the device, leaving you unable to start your car. In fact, there have even been instances of people getting drunk off mouthwash and getting arrested for a DUI because of it. So be extra cautious when rinsing in the morning, or after meals.
- Lockout. Lockouts may occur while operating your ignition interlock devices. Georgia's ignition interlocks have varying levels of this. There may be a temporary 15-minute lockout if you initially don't pass -- remember, because things like mouthwash can set the device off, take this time to rinse your mouth out with water. There also may be lockouts during restricted driving times, depending on your court order. It's best to know what these restrictions are, so you aren't in for a surprise when you need to drive somewhere.
Lastly, remember the only sure way to avoid an ignition interlock device: never drink and drive!