In this video, attorney Clarke Dummit answers questions regarding DWI interlock devices, or ingition interlock devices.
These in-car breathalyzers are often times a requirement for limited driving privileges after a DWI conviction in North Carolina.
Jim: In the last segment, we touched on these interlock devices that are ordered by the court in some cases after certain types of convictions. And you explained what that was. Let’s recap what it was. But, my other question is, is this something that costs your client a lot of money to install or to maintain?
Clarke: An interlock is a machine that’s manufactured by *Monitech. It’s a specific device. And Monitech has the monopoly on it and it’s all regulated by statute. They actually have a microchip in the machine. So, each time you blow on it it records whether or not there’s alcohol in your breath. It also records what time you’re blowing on it. Because I’ve seen violations where somebody tried to start their car at two in the morning. Well, their driving privileges didn’t allow them to drive at two in the morning. And, they try and use that Monitech evidence against them at a hearing later saying they violated their privileges.
So, it gets complicated. But, the machine gets installed. Currently, they’re charging a $200 installation fee. And then it costs, I believe, $50 a month. That’s a rough idea. So, it’ll cost you another chunk of money if you end up with this interlock device.
Jim: We talked about the interlock device and let’s say I have one and I paid for it to be installed. But then I come to you and say, “oh, Clarke, I forgot to mention part of my job is I have to drive my employer’s van for some reason.” Now, does the device have to go into the employer’s van or… I’m confused.
Clarke: North Carolina does allow an exception if you’re driving a corporately owned vehicle. It has to be listed into the privilege the exact vehicle you’re driving. But, if you do drive a corporate vehicle for work related purposes, you do not have to have the interlock installed on that. Now, what I’ve seen some people try and do is take a company car, or move their car into their company like a construction company, and drive that car all year long without the interlock. The problem is, you still have to have the interlock installed on some vehicle for one full year before you can ever get your driving privileges back.
Jim: Because, as you said, that’s all very closely monitored. Alright, now coming up, we’re going to back track a little bit. We’ve talked about what happens when you refuse to take certain sobriety tests, but we want to put those in a little bit different context. And, we’ll do that in this next segment.
* Since the recording of this segment, there are now three interlock providers in North Carolina. They are Monitech, Smart Start, and Alcolock.