Effective at the beginning of 2023, Hawaii enacted a new law that makes it possible for those with a first conviction for operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant (OVUII) to be able to drive during the period that their regular driving privileges would ordinarily be fully revoked. To be allowed to drive legally, they must have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in any vehicle they’re driving.
An IID is essentially a breathalyzer-type device that requires a driver to blow into it and show that they’re sober in order for the vehicle to start. Further, any attempt to start the car while under the influence is reported to law enforcement.
An official with MADD Hawaii notes, “Since the law went into effect, people with alcohol in their system have been prevented from starting their car 128,600 times….That’s a very impressive number because every one of those attempts when you’re (sic) drinking could’ve cost someone their life.”
Tampering with an IID inspires penalties
Those who have an IID installed need to abide by strict rules. If they don’t, they can lose the privilege of driving even with the device installed for the full term of their revocation. The same law also addresses penalties for “circumvention of, or tampering with” a device.
Anyone who is found guilty of doing so can also face penalties including jail time and fines.
Tampering with an IID may involve:
- Having someone else blow into it for you.
- Obscuring the camera
- Doing anything to make the IID “inaccurate or inoperable”
It’s crucial to know how to properly care for an IID if you have one installed. Not doing so can lead to false reports that can endanger your ability to continue to drive legally. It’s always important to read and understand the rules around the IID and to take it in for recalibration as scheduled. Additionally, if other people are driving a vehicle that your IID is in, they have to drive sober (which, of course, they should anyway). If even a small amount of alcohol is detected and the vehicle won’t start, that is going to cause problems for you.
A first-time OVUII conviction is no one’s choice for the outcome of a drunk driving arrest. However, if that’s what you’re facing, it’s crucial to understand your options so that you can continue with your life as normally as possible. Seeking experienced legal guidance accordingly can help.