If you’re like most DWI offenders in North Carolina, you just want the whole ordeal to be over and done with. There have been – or will be – fines to pay, an alcohol or drug assessment, and a suspension to comply with. And if your blood alcohol level was .15 or higher, or you have at least one other DWI on your record during the last seven years, you will have an ignition interlock in your vehicle. Every time you use it you’re reminded of your DWI.

An ignition interlock requirement is rarely very long – one year is most common – but it’s one that must be followed through with from start to finish. Unfortunately, there aren’t any shortcuts – the only way out is through. This is what you should be doing to make the fastest, most trouble-free journey through your ignition interlock period and out the other side:

  • Do not drive any vehicle without an ignition interlock. Your license restriction strictly prohibits you from operating a vehicle that does not have an interlock.
  • Do not try to cheat the ignition interlock. The law requires that you, the driver, perform the test when driving the vehicle. Getting a “friend” to do so is not only illegal, it is dangerous, and could result in much more severe penalties. Tampering is also prohibited, and attempts to do so will show up on the log and could get your interlock period extended. That’s exactly what you’re not trying to do.
  • Keep to the terms of your restriction. If you are only allowed to drive to work, school, and/or substance abuse treatment,  then abide by those terms. Once again, violation will land you in hot water.

You might wonder if you can get time off your ignition interlock period if you do not fail any tests.  The answer is, probably not. If a court ordered the interlock, the judge would have to change the order. If the interlock was ordered by the DMV, then you might be able to arrange a hearing. Consult your attorney.

So that’s the way to get rid of your interlock: keep to the rules, so you get through your interlock period in the shortest time possible. Afterwards, you can apply to have the interlock removed and your license restored – something to look forward to as you take your tests and mark the days.

Good luck!

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