Many millions of Americans own a car or pickup truck, and the majority of the entire American population owns a valid driver’s license. Every day, countless cars and commercial vehicles are on the road, and fortunately, most driver are careful and responsible about how they drive. But some drivers are not so responsible, and they may be driving drunk behind the wheel. This is very dangerous for the driver and everyone around them, and thus drunk driving is strictly illegal. Getting a DUI, or “driving under the influence” is a serious offense, and a drunk driver may face these charges after their arrest even if they did not crash or hurt anyone due to their drunk driving. If you face such charges, certain steps can be taken to try and get a desirable outcome from criminal court. Nothing is being guaranteed here, but it may be possible to negotiate with the court to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car rather than serve a jail sentence. Interlock devices can often serve as a fair compromise, and many criminal defense lawyers might argue for the use of ignition interlock devices rather than hefty fines or jail time.
Alcohol and the Road
It is simple: alcohol and the road do not go well together. Alcohol impairs a person’s judgment, coordination, and reflexes, which will make them an erratic, sloppy, and unpredictable driver on the road. This greatly increases their risk of hitting another vehicle, or striking a person or hitting a piece of property. These drivers may rush red lights or shift into the wrong driving lanes, and smash right into another vehicle or hit a pedestrian who was not expecting such a thing. Nationally, the legal definition of drunk driving is 0.08% BAC (blood alcohol content), and some states have an even lower threshold than that. Also, some drivers may incorrectly believe that they can get away with driving “buzzed,” but this is still dangerous. A drunk driver may be spotted due to their erratic driving, and a police officer may pursue them and pull them over. Drunk driving in itself is a serious crime, even if no collision took place.
If you are in such a situation, you may want to get legal counsel before court. This might make a real difference.
Getting an Ignition Interlock Device
While no court case outcome can be guaranteed, there are some steps that a person accused of drunk driving may take. This is a common crime, and every day, many Americans face related charges. For this reason, many criminal defense law firms specializing in drunk driving incidents can be found across the nation. Someone facing these charges can look up local law firms of this sort and get consultations from the attorneys working there, which may or may not incur a fee. The client may then find and hire a lawyer whose skills and experience are to their liking, and build a case with them.
What might happen next, at court? In many cases, it may help the defendant’s case if this is their first offense, and if they have a minimal or no criminal record. And if the defendant has a good lawyer by their side, that lawyer may know how to negotiate so that certain charges are dismissed or exchanged for less serious ones. As a result of this, it is possible (not guaranteed) that a major penalty such as jail time or massive fines may be exchanged for lighter fines and an ignition interlock device’s installation. The convict might also take part in mandatory rehab programs, as the court orders.
An ignition interlock device is a compromise that allows the convict to maintain their mobility and freedom, but they cannot easily drive drunk again. Such a device is worked into the person’s car’s ignition, and it has a breathalyzer attached. Before the car can be started, the driver must submit a breath sample, and if it is free of alcohol, that person may turn on the ignition. A failed test will keep the car off. And while driving, the driver may get a signal that they must pull over and submit another breath sample to keep the car on.