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Ignition interlock device for Tennessee DUI offenders

When a driver is accused of drunk driving, the person should not treat this like other traffic violations. A DUI is considered a criminal offense, and depending on the details of the alleged crime, a driver could face serious penalties if the person is convicted. One of the penalties a Tennessee driver could endure if the person is convicted of DUI is the requirement to install an ignition interlock device in the person's vehicle.

Since July 1, 2013, those convicted of a DUI with a blood alcohol concentration or BAC or 0.08 percent or greater are required to use an ignition interlock device. At the passing of this legislation, Tennessee was the 18th state to pass such legislation. The state requires all offenders to use an interlock device as a means to prevent future offenses. This means that even a first time offender is required to use the device.

The law also requires that an in-vehicle camera be installed with each ignition interlock device. The idea is that a photograph is snapped each time the device is activated, thereby discouraging other individuals from blowing for a potential drunk driver.

There are several ways a violation could be recorded by the device. If it registers a BAC of 0.02 percent or greater, the device will prevent the vehicle from starting. If the vehicle is started without a passing test, this is considered a violation. A violation is also recorded is the user fails to take a rolling test or tampers with the device. After five violations occur, the user must get the device serviced within 72 hours.

While a drunk driving offense might not appear to be a serious offense, it is still a criminal charge that could impact an offender's personal life. Moreover, if the accused is charged with one or more DUI, could the person can face harsher penalties and fines, which greatly impacts the person's driving privileges. Such a situation could make it difficult to obtain or maintain a job.

Those accused of a DUI should not take the charge lightly. It is important to consider the available criminal defense options, which could help the accused reduce or prevent penalties such as an ignition interlock device.

Source: Tn.gov, " Chapter 1340-03-06 Rules of Ignition Interlock Device Program," accessed Feb. 29, 2016

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