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After an OWI: ignition interlock specialized driving privileges

On Behalf of | Dec 6, 2021 | Blog |

Having a valid Indiana driver’s license is often critical getting to work, taking your kids to school and having transportation in an emergency. If officers pull you over and arrest you for operating while intoxicated, you might lose your license. This can have a long-term impact on your life. However, you may be able to mitigate the damage with the installation of an ignition interlock device.

According to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, you may need an ignition interlock device if the court grants you specialized driving privileges after an OWI conviction.

Who is eligible for specialized driving privileges?

If the court suspends your license due to an eligible offense, you might qualify for specialized driving privileges, previously known as a hardship license. Under Indiana statutes, this license allows you to drive in specific situations and on a limited basis.  Eligible offenses include a criminal conviction in any of the following:

  • Boating while intoxicated
  • Operating (a vehicle) while intoxicated
  • A crime that involves a motor vehicle as a factor of the offense
  • A subsequent infraction for exceeding worksite speed limits within a year of the first

Depending on your situation, you may qualify for specialized driving privileges before the suspension of your license.

How does an ignition interlock device work?

An interlock device works as an in-car breath test. You must breathe into the device before you can start your vehicle. It will start only if the device shows that your blood alcohol content is less than 0.02%. The device might also require randomly timed retests during your drive. It records a variety of information, including the date, time and location of each test, whether you passed or failed and the distance you traveled.

Understanding your rights when facing OWI charges is essential. It can help you take action to avoid a conviction or minimize the impact it has on your life.