Ignition Interlock Device Now Required if Arrested for DUI in Tennessee


You’ve probably heard of an ignition interlock device (“IID”), which is essentially a breathalyzer for your car. Thanks to a new law, this is now being required of someone that has been convicted of a DUI. In a way, it’s understandable that these individuals would be required to have one in order to drive because they’ve been proven to drive drunk in the recent past but what’s not as understandable is the concept of requiring those who’ve only been arrested for a DUI to be required to have one installed. The Tennessee legislature has now passed new laws that go into effect July 1, 2022, which will require people who have been charged (NOT convicted) of DUI to have an IID in their car if they want to continue driving while the case is pending. And must be installed in your car within 10 days of being arrested. This will become part of their bond conditions. 

What are Bond Conditions for an Interlock Device?

Bond conditions are requirements that one must comply with in order to remain out of jail while the case is pending. These conditions must be taken very seriously because if you violate you risk having your bond revoked which means sitting in jail until your case is resolved. There are two basic ways to violate this new condition: (1) you fail to have the IID installed in your car; or (2) you do something that is not in compliance with the rules of the IID (i.e., your breath sample being above a .02). 

How much will an Interlock Device cost?

The unfortunate reality is that IIDs are prone to complications and are very expensive. Far too often I’ve seen situations where the manufacturers take advantage of people by improperly calibrating the device, overcharging, and/or making removal of the device unnecessarily difficult to name a few. Furthermore, navigating the process itself is tricky. Nothing is made easy which only increases the likelihood of someone violating even when they’re only trying to do what’s required. Did I mention how expensive it is?? Installation fees will cost between $75-$225. Monthly fees are commonly $125. Removal fees will cost $75-$225. Annual fees are $12.50. And then there are miscellaneous fees that you may encounter for maintenance issues. A rough average of the time it takes from arrest to resolution on a DUI charge is approximately 9 months for defendants on bond. Using that average timeframe, it would cost $1,587.50 to stay in compliance with the IID bond condition. Keep in mind it may take much longer depending on the direction a case goes. For example, it can take years before a case ever goes to trial. 

What if I just got arrested for DUI?

If you find yourself arrested and now facing a DUI conviction, it’s in your best interest to hire a DUI attorney. This new law is going to create a lot of confusion as many details have not been clarified thus negatively affecting people simply charged with a DUI. The fact is that IIDs are already expensive and prone to creating serious problems for those convicted of DUI – but now under this new law, even more people are going to be exposed to the potentially grave consequences. Of course, there are exceptions to this requirement! To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, contact our office for a consultation today.