How cold weather impacts ignition interlock devices

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2018 | Drunk Driving Charges

If you’re one of the many Marylanders who’s going to be driving this winter with an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your car as the result of a DUI or DWI conviction, it’s important to know how the cold weather can impact these devices. Two elements of Maryland’s often intense winters can impact whether an IID will work — and consequently, whether you’ll be able to operate your vehicle.

Just as your engine will often take a little extra time to warm up in cold weather, so will your IID. That means that you may have to wait a few minutes after you start your car to successfully blow into your IID.

You should also note that if your battery dies as a result of the cold weather and you have to jump start it, the device could register this as an attempt at tampering. You might have some explaining to do to authorities.

Another impact of cold temperatures is that they constrict the lungs. This can affect how much strength you have to blow into the device. If the IID isn’t able to register your breath sample, you may have to sit in the car for a few minutes until it — and you — have sufficiently warmed up.

Noah’s Law, which was enacted in Maryland nearly two years ago, mandates that drivers install IIDs in their vehicles if they’re convicted of a number of types of drunk driving-related offenses. Even a first offense DUI can require you to put an IID in your car for six months. That period increases with each subsequent offense.

An IID is just one of the consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction in Maryland. You could also face jail time, fines and a driver’s license suspension before you’re even allowed to drive with an IID. If you or a loved one is dealing with a drunk driving charge, it’s essential to take the matter as seriously as Maryland courts do and not face the justice system without experienced legal guidance.

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