If you’re facing DUI / OVWI charges in the State of Indiana, you may have received a document in the mail that suggests you’ll be allowed to drive if you get a particular device installed in your vehicle. It’s important to understand that this is a promotional strategy used by ignition interlock providers. It’s not a letter from the court, and it doesn’t give you permission to drive. 

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device? 

An ignition interlock device is basically a breathalyzer for your car. Once it’s installed, it requires a clean breath sample in order to start or continue operating the vehicle. If your breath has alcohol on it, the interlock device will shut off your vehicle for a predetermined period of time. 

When Is an Ignition Interlock Device Required? 

If your license has been suspended as the result of a DUI / OVWI arrest, only the judge in your criminal case can grant you specialized driving privileges. Most orders for specialized driving privileges will require ignition interlock, but simply having the interlock device installed does not allow you to drive. You always need a signed order from the judge. 

What Is the Process for Getting an Ignition Interlock Device? 

Getting a signed order from the judge means filing a petition with the court, along with the proof of enhanced insurance coverage that the judge will want to see. These petitions are always discretionary, which means there’s nothing in the law that says the judge must let you drive. 

If you can get a signed order that says you’re allowed to drive with an ignition interlock device, then it’s simply a matter of scheduling an appointment with one of Indiana’s certified providers and having the device installed. 

Do Not Get Interlock Installed Without a Signed Order 

If you do not have signed order that says you’re allowed to drive with interlock, DO NOT GET AN IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICE INSTALLED. The company will likely try to lock you into a contract, and the last thing you want is to sign a six-month lease on a device before the judge has allowed you to use it. 

If the judge says no to specialized driving privileges, then you’re stuck with an interlock device you can’t even use. This is not a mistake you want to make. 

Make the Right Call 

If you have any questions about driving privileges or ignition interlock requirements, give us a call at 317-632-3642 and remember—always plead the 5th!