Understanding Missouri ignition interlock laws

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2021 | DWI

Receiving a DWI charge from a Missouri court carries many serious consequences along with it. Depending on your situation, one of these consequences may be that you must install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle if you wish to continue driving.

Missouri courts do not require ignition interlock devices for all first time offenses, but may do so at their own discretion. However, Missouri law states that the court shall require the installation of an ignition interlock device for a second or any subsequent DWI offenses for a period of time no less than six months.

What does the ignition interlock device do?

An ignition interlock device is a machine that you must breathe into in order to operate a moving vehicle. Modern ignition interlock devices include a camera as well. The device will prevent your vehicle from turning on if you breathe into it and the device detects alcohol on your breath.

Additionally, you must breathe into the device when prompted while the vehicle is in motion. An ignition interlock device prevents you from consuming alcohol and continuing to operate the vehicle.

What if it stops the car while I am driving?

An ignition interlock device does not have the ability to actually lock up your car while it is in motion. The device connects into the starter system of your vehicle and not the engine. If the device prompts you to breathe into it and then it finds alcohol on your breath, what it will do is activate the horn of your car and start flashing the lights. This will get the attention of law enforcement.