At this time, the penalty for your first DUI in Kentucky, if convicted, is a six-month suspension of your driver’s license. This can be very inconvenient because it can prevent you from getting to your job or impede your ability to get to an alcohol treatment facility to fulfill court-ordered obligations. Fortunately, after July 1st of this year, you will have another option. LEX 18 reports that that is the day that the Ignition Interlock Law goes into effect after the governor signed it into law last March.
An ignition interlock device tests your breath to assess your blood alcohol concentration before you start your car and at several points during your trip. It prevents you from driving if your BAC is over 0.02%. IIDs have widespread support from organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Kentucky bourbon industry. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association asserts that impaired-driving recidivism has reduced because of the use of ignition interlock devices.
Following your first DUI, the law requires you to have an ignition interlock device in your car for 90 days initially. However, that term could extend to six months if you commit any of the following offenses:
- Failing a breath test
- Attempting to conceal or alter your identity during testing
- Tampering with the device
An IID installs under the dashboard and can record instances of tampering, including attempting to bypass the IID by “hotwiring” the vehicle.
The expense to install the ignition interlock device is your responsibility, as is the associated monthly fee. There are four companies in Kentucky that install ignition interlock devices in vehicles. It is not clear whether prices are the same for all four companies.