Interlock Hearing Question

What should I do if I received a non-compliance letter from the NCDMV because I had a DWI or an alcohol violation?

I blew a FAIL when I tried to start my car in the morning. I had taken cough medicine in the middle of the night because I was sick. I guess it was still lingering in my system. I have had no other violations over the last year. My restrictions are a .000 over 3 years. I have a SmartStart device on my car. I am halfway through my time.

I am very scared that I might get my license revoked for a year and I can’t have that happen. One person told me not to worry and that I don’t need an attorney. I’m not sure what to do but I need to make sure that I don’t get my license suspended. I need this dropped.

Ignition Interlock Violations

You have gotten a letter from the Division of Motor Vehicles telling you to surrender your Driver’s License Whether you are using Smart Start or Monitech they are both required to send your results via download to the DMV if there is any violation of the alcohol limit restriction. If you do nothing, you are about to lose your privilege to drive for a year or longer. We here at Dummit Fradin are experienced in fighting these alleged violations. We offer a free and confidential consultation to those who have received a letter such as this. But you must act swiftly to protect your rights if you have received a “positive” Monitech or Smart Start test.

This letter generated means that at some time in the past the DMV has received a notice from the Interlock provider of a violation. It does not necessarily mean that it occurred at the most recent download. Many times the DMV will send out notices 6 months or more after than the alleged violation.

Do you need an attorney? Yes and No.

Yes: you need an attorney experienced in interlock violations.

No: You do not need an attorney who your neighbor recommended. If you are not going to take an experienced attorney to the hearing you may be better off on your own. The rules and law involved in these hearings are administrative law and are unique to the DMV. The DMV is exempt from the administrative code (which every other agency must follow) and are allowed to make their own rules up for hearings they conduct. You need an attorney who has handled multiple hearings on this exact issues.

False Positives:

The interlock devise is and was designed as a safety devise (to stop a vehicle from starting if it thinks it detects alcohol. The devise is not a forensic instrument to conduct admissible breath testing samples. It is not designed to have any calibration or slope detector which are required under North Carolina General Statute 20-16.2. It would not be admissible in a court of law, but the DMV is not bound by scientific evidentiary standards.

As you have already experienced, the devise regularly gives false positives. Even during the training you received you were warned to keep a bottle of water in your vehicle to clear you mouth before blowing. There are too many interferent which show up on this devise as “positive for alcohol” so it gives false positives.

Administrative Hearing:

While the DMV does not publish the hearing procedures which they follow for these Violation Hearings, we here at Dummit Fradin have fought many of these and learned many of the procedures the DMV wishes to keep secret. These are in fact two different kinds of interlock hearings depending upon the underlying reason you are required to have an Interlock device. The rules are different for each of these, and the evidence which can show a violation changes. Hire an experienced Interlock Attorney.