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Today, all of the 50 states have ignition interlock device laws. However, only 28 states have mandatory requirements for all offenders. The other 22 states offer more leniency regarding ignition interlock requirements for first-time offenders.

How Long Do I Need an Ignition Interlock Device?

The consequences of drunk driving cannot be overemphasized. If you plan to drive on American roads, avoiding alcohol is the safest way to escape DUI charges. However, if you’ve been charged with a DUI offense, you may be wondering, “how long do I need an ignition interlock device.”

Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer to this question. The restriction period is dependent on several factors, state driving laws being the most important. These factors include:

  1. Whether this is your first DUI conviction
  2. Whether you have a criminal history
  3. Nature of previous offenses committed (if any)

Variations to Ignition Interlock Device Laws

In 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created model guidelines for IID use. These guidelines encouraged member states to impose the mandatory use of ignition interlock devices, even for first-time offenders.

The report provided a blueprint for managing ignition interlock programs in all states.

Not only does the restriction period vary by state, but the ignition interlock device laws of each state and their motor vehicle regulations also differ. To get a feel of how the laws work, we’ll highlight a few from several states.


According to recent changes to ignition interlock device laws in California, drivers convicted of DUI, even first-time offenders, must obtain an ignition interlock device to apply for a restricted license and complete additional requirements (i.e., treatment programs if required).

The ignition interlock requirement period for first-time DUI offenders is six months, one year for second-time offenders, and two years for third-time violators. Other fines and penalties, including suspension of license, may also occur.


First-time offenders are given a nine-month license revocation. Offenders with a BAC greater than 0.17% are required to use an ignition interlock device for at least one year. Interestingly, complying with a chemical test is mandatory in Colorado.

Failure to comply will result in license revocation. According to Colorado law, “refusal of a chemical test at a traffic stop on or after January 1, 2014, will now result in a Persistent Drunk Driver designation.”


Whether first-time or repeat offenders, all offenders may be required to install an ignition interlock device in their cars. If your license was suspended, and you’ve already served 45 days of your suspension, the ignition interlock can be used to shorten the suspension. Traffic offenses that would require the use of interlock devices in Connecticut include:

  1. Driving under the influence
  2. Failure to submit to a chemical test
  3. Vehicular manslaughter
  4. Vehicular assault

For a BAC of .08 and higher, the period of interlock device usage for drivers 21 years and older is as follows:

  • First offenders: six months
  • Second offenders: one year
  • Third-time offenders: two years

In addition, your ignition interlock requirement will be extended for 30 days for each of these infractions:

  • Failing a rolling retest
  • Failing to submit to a rolling retest
  • Tampering with the IID
  • Removal of IID without prior authorization
  • Failing to appear for your IID maintenance appointment within five days of your scheduled service date

Adherence to Regulations

Failure to adhere to monitoring rules and the terms of your probation may attract further fines and penalties.

To avoid this pitfall, work closely with your state’s monitoring authorities and seek advice from your attorney.

Ignition Interlock Device Calibration

Regardless of the penalties imposed in your state, you’ll want to ensure that your interlock device is properly calibrated. In some states, failure to keep monthly calibration appointments may lead to more penalties.

How RoadGuard Interlock Can Help

As stated earlier, steering clear of alcohol if you are driving is the best way to avoid further DUI charges. Also, familiarizing yourself with your state’s DUI laws is important.

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI, be sure to follow the rules and regulations to avoid more penalties. If you’re not sure how to obtain an ignition interlock device if you are required to get one, contact us today at 1-833-545-0368 to get answers to all your questions.

*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. RoadGuard Interlock did not create nor develop and does not own any such third-party websites. RoadGuard Interlock does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in any such third-party website links. RoadGuard Interlock is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy or reliability. Nothing contained in this article or any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction, or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.