Archive for January, 2011
Part 3: Discretionary Tennessee Ignition Interlock Device
In addition to the mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) requirements for certain DUI 1st Offense convictions as well as offenders with prior DUI convictions, Tennessee judges have the discretion to order the installation of an IID as a condition for any Tennessee DUI conviction. Interestingly, if a judge orders the installation of an ignition interlock device at his or her own discretion, as opposed a situation where the IID is specifically required by Tennessee law, the defendant may be required to have the device installed for a longer period of time. For instance, when mandated by Tennessee law for a DUI 1st offense conviction, as discussed in Part 1 of this series, the IID may only be ordered for the length of the Tennessee driver’s license revocation. However, when ordered purely at the discretion of the judge, the ignition interlock device may be ordered to remain on the defendant’s vehicle for any period of time up to 1 year after the expiration of the Tennessee driver’s license revocation period.
Any Tennessee defendant who is eligible for a DUI-related restricted Tennessee driver’s license may also request an ignition interlock device. If a defendant requests an IID, at his or her own expense, the person would be able to drive without geographic restrictions (i.e. to and from work, school, place of worship, etc.) during the driver’s license revocation period. In this circumstance, a judge may not extend the required period of the ignition interlock device beyond the Tennessee driver’s license revocation period. If required by Tennessee law to have an IID installed, a defendant is eligible to have the costs paid from the Interlock Assistance Fund. However, it is important to note that Tennessee law does not allow for monetary assistance for indigent defendants who are not ordered to install an IID, but opt for such installation of their own accord.
Part 2: Mandatory Tennessee Ignition Interlock Device Requirement For Offenders With Prior DUI Convictions
A person convicted of Tennessee DUI, who also has a prior DUI conviction in the past 5 years will also be required to install an ignition interlock device. In this instance, the ignition interlock device must be installed on the person’s vehicle during the period of license revocation and for an additional 6 months after the expiration of the revocation period.
A person convicted of a Tennessee DUI 2nd Offense will also be required to install an ignition interlock device during the second year of the 2-year suspension (the person is not eligible to drive at all during the first year). If the person’s prior DUI conviction was within 5 years of the current offense, the person will also be required to maintain the ignition interlock device on his vehicle for a period of 6 months after the expiration of the Tennessee driver’s license revocation period.
Part 3 of the blog series examining the Tennessee Ignition Interlock Device requirements for Tennessee DUI offenders will focus on when the requirement can be ordered at the court’s discretion. Should you have any questions about how the new Tennessee DUI laws may apply to your case, please feel free to contact Knoxville, TN DUI lawyers Steve Oberman and Sara Compher-Rice at (865) 249-7200.
Over the next several weeks, Tennessee DUI Center will be highlighting information about the new laws applicable to Tennessee DUI offenses. The first of the new Tennessee DUI laws involves the use of Ignition Interlock Devices (commonly referred to as IIDs).
Part 1: Mandatory Tennessee Ignition Interlock Device Requirement For DUI 1st Offense Conviction
As of January 1, 2011, many Tennessee DUI offenders, if convicted of driving under the influence, 1st Offense, may face a mandatory order for the installation of an IID if at the time of the offense:
- The person’s blood or breath alcohol concentration was .15% or greater;
- The person was accompanied by a person under 18 years of age;
- The person was involved in a traffic accident requiring notification and the accident was a proximate result of intoxication; OR
- The person violated the implied consent law (refused to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test to determine blood alcohol content) and the person has a conviction or juvenile delinquency adjudication for one of the following within the past 5 years:
- Implied Consent Violation;
- Underage Driving While Impaired (DWI);
- Open Container; OR
- Reckless Driving if the original charge was for Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Future blog entries will address Tennessee Ignition Interlock Device requirements for Tennessee DUI offenders with prior DUI convictions and will answer many frequently asked questions relating to this new law. In the meantime, if you have any questions about how the new Tennessee DUI laws may apply to your case, please feel free to contact Knoxville, TN DUI lawyers Steve Oberman and Sara Compher-Rice at (865) 249-7200.