If you’ve been ordered to install in ignition interlock in your vehicle because of a North Carolina DWI, you might be tempted to blow it off and keep driving without one. Why?
- It costs money
- It’s inconvenient – you need to install it, use it, and have it monitored
- You can’t drink and drive- what’s the fun in that?
In fact, these reasons don’t cut it. If you haven’t installed your mandated ignition interlock (car breathalyzer) in North Carolina, you’ve got a target on your back. Your best bet is to comply right away, for a number of reasons.
Legally, driving without an interlock is the same as driving without a license. In fact, it is driving without a license: the ignition interlock is the condition that validates your driver’s license, and if it’s not present, you might as well not have one at all. You’re committing a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries stiff penalites:
- License revocation for year. Second offense, two years, and if it’s your third, then your license is permanently revoked. Of course, since you’re already driving without a license, this might not scare you. So consider the other penalties, such as:
- Jail time. Subject to the court’s decision.
- Fines. Also court-determined, but chances are it will make the ignition interlock seem cheap by comparison.
- No drinking at all. As the original offense was for impaired driving, you may be ordered to abstain from alcohol entirely for three months – a continuous alcohol monitoring device would be used to ensure that you never drink. All the interlock did was keep you from driving drunk.
- It goes on your driving record. Forget about saving 15% on car insurance. You’ll be paying through the nose.
Remember also that if you’re driving without your ignition interlock, you are uninsured – even if your premium is paid up. You won’t be covered if you get in an accident, so even a minor fender bender could set you back thousands. A major crash could financially destroy you – and someone else – forever.
Driving without your interlock? It just isn’t worth it. Make the call now and get right with the law.