September 26

Interlock Devices — Getting You Safely Back on the Road


A new law allows your to get your driver’s license back after a DUI arrest right away.  But the process is not always easy, and it comes at a cost. 

In 2017, the Nevada Legislature passed SB259, a public safety measure requiring most people arrested for DUI to install a breath ignition interlock device in their car.  These devices force the driver to blow into a gadget that tests for alcohol on your breath.  If alcohol is detected in your breath, your car won’t start.  The device takes a picture of you as you blow into it, to make it harder for people to cheat.  The length of time you must have the interlock installed depends on your blood alcohol level, and what type of DUI you were arrested for.   

But the new law didn’t just add to the many expensive consequences of DUI, it also helped mitigate one of the harshest – losing your driver’s license.

Before 2017, if you were arrested for a first time DUI, your license would be suspended for 90 days, even before you were actually convicted (sometimes even if you weren’t convicted!).  SB259 changed that time to 185 days, but allows people to get a restricted license back right away as long as they install an interlock device in their car and provide proof to the DMV.

This should be a win-win.  People facing DUIs can keep their jobs, take their kids to school, get groceries, and do all the things life requires of us in a large state without a lot of public transportation options.  And the interlocks are a much more effective public safety measure than just telling people not to drive (plenty of them would just do it anyway).

The problem is that the law wasn’t written as clearly as it could, and so different DMV workers and different courts are telling people different things about when, how, and even if they can get their license back.  Some people are being told to wait for sentencing, or for an order from a judge, when neither should not be necessary.  Some people are getting different answers from two different employees at the same DMV branch!  The result can be unjustified lost jobs, lost time with your kids, or missed opportunities of every kind.

One of the advantages of hiring an experienced DUI attorney is helping cut through some of this red tape and confusion, and getting you safely back on the road sooner rather than later.  

For a list of interlock providers certified by the state, click here.


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