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DUI Offenders’ Right to Participate in Ignition Interlock Program

Each year, approximately 24,000 people are arrested for driving under the influence in Maryland. For many people, this arrest is embarrassing and unexpected. First-time DUI offenders especially were often unaware that they were over the legal limit when they were stopped for drunk driving. Many of these people have otherwise clean criminal records and struggle in the aftermath to get their life back on track.

One major obstacle to restoring normalcy following a DUI is the fact that one of the common punishments is the revocation of an offender’s driver’s license. This can make it difficult to perform basic duties like traveling to and from work, grocery shopping and more. Fortunately, some offenders may be eligible for a program known as the Ignition Interlock Program.

This form of probation allows people who have been convicted for DUI to have restricted driving privileges while they are serving administrative license suspension. Under this program, certain drivers who are accepted into the program may drive vehicles with an ignition interlock device installed in them. These devices require that a driver pass a Breathalyzer test in order to operate the vehicle.

Drivers who qualify for this program may obtain limited driving privileges that will allow them to perform their daily responsibilities, such as commuting to work and running errands. The probation period in which they are required to use an ignition interlock device is the same as their license suspension. In other words, if their license was revoked for one year, they must use the device for one year.

Not every DUI offender qualifies for this form of probation, but many are eligible, including those with only one offense. If you have recently been arrested for drunk driving and believe you may be eligible for the Ignition Interlock Program, consult a knowledgeable Maryland DUI defense attorney at Mudd Mudd & Fitzgerald in La Plata.

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