Managing Your Hardship License Mandated IID

If you have had your license suspended or revoked, you may be aware that you can apply for an LDP (Limited Driving Privilege) or “hardship license” in your state. Your hardship license may come with restrictions of where and when you can drive. But if you have a court-mandated IID (Ignition Interlock Device) due to a DUI or DWI conviction, you are subject to further restrictions and limitations that can compound or become confusing. Every IID is different, just as each state’s DWI laws are different, so this can serve as a general overview for hardship license holders with an IID. This post is not intended as legal counsel or advice, and you should consult with your attorney, local department of revenue, and IID provider or service technician before operating a motor vehicle with an IID installed.

A hardship license and an IID both restrict how and where you are permitted to drive your motor vehicle, though they do so in different ways. While both are able to legally restrict your driving habits, an IID is integrated into the ignition circuitry of your vehicle and is subsequently empowered with additional capabilities. Your IID may be able to identify you with a camera, track your vehicle’s location with GPS, report you to your probation or parole officer, and prevent your vehicle from starting entirely. With this in mind, it is paramount you follow the rules of your IID to the letter to avoid further infractions or violations that could result in your hardship license being revoked, costly fines, or serious jail time.

When entering your vehicle but before starting it, ensure your face is clearly visible to your IID’s camera if it has one. Wash your mouth thoroughly with water to avoid particulate or bacterial buildup on the mouthpiece of your IID. If you have one or more passengers, ensure they are seated and that they do not attempt to handle or touch the IID. If your IID’s camera captured your passenger in a position that could be construed as fraudulently using the IID in your stead, you could end up in serious trouble. Once you and your passengers are seated and your mouth is clean, ensure your feet are on the floor of the vehicle away from the pedals, then insert your key in the ignition and turn it to the start position without overturning or revving the engine. Then, take the IID and ensure its display reads “blow” or “ready.” Take a deep breath away from the mouthpiece, then form a seal around it with your mouth, blowing steadily and forcefully until the IID informs you that you have passed. Your IID may instead read that you must try again, blow harder or softer, not inhale, or remove blockage from the mouthpiece. If any of these messages appear, follow the instructions and try again. If your IID informs you that you are in violation of the minimum BAC (Blood-Alcohol Content) threshold and refuses to start your vehicle, remove your key from the ignition immediately and call your IID technician or provider. Under no circumstances should you attempt to operate your motor vehicle if your IID locks you out, as you may be in violation of your probation or parole, or receive another DUI or DWI charge. Follow the instructions your IID technician or provider gives you, and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.