Ignition Interlock Device Requirements Under the New Tennessee DUI Laws

Below is a brief outline of some of the most frequently asked questions regarding ignition interlock device requirements as a result of the new Tennessee DUI Laws that became effective July 1, 2013 and apply to those arrested for a Tennessee DUI on or after that date.

Is an ignition interlock device (IID) now required with every DUI conviction?

The new Tennessee Law provisions do not require an IID for every DUI offender who applies for a restricted driver’s license.

What are the IID requirements with a DUI 1st offense conviction?

The use of an IID is not required with every Tennessee DUI conviction.  Rather, one of the prerequisites listed below must be present to require the use of an IID.  For instance, an IID is not required if a person refuses a chemical test (blood, breath, or urine test) and is convicted of DUI unless certain other factors are present.  Other factors may prevent the mandatory IID requirement. Accordingly, it is important to carefully review the details of your case with your Tennessee DUI attorney.

When obtaining a restricted driver’s license following a conviction for DUI 1st offense, motorists are required to operate only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device when:

  1. The person’s blood or breath alcohol concentration is .08% or higher;
  2. The person’s blood or breath alcohol concentration contains a combination of any amount of alcohol and marijuana, a controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, drug, or any substance affecting the central nervous system;
  3. The person was accompanied by a person under the age of 18 at the time of the DUI offense;
  4. The person was involved in a traffic accident for which notice to a law enforcement officer was required, and the accident was the proximate cause of the person’s intoxication; or
  5. The person violated the implied consent law and has a prior conviction or juvenile delinquency for a violation that occurred within five years of the instant implied consent violation for:
    1. Implied consent under Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-406;
    2. Underage driving while impaired under Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-415;
    3. The open container law under Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-416; or
    4. Reckless driving under Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-205, if the charged offense was Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-401.

It should be noted that even if not required by statute, judges have discretion to order the use of an ignition interlock device upon application for any restricted Tennessee driver’s license. A motorist may also request the court to order an IID rather than have her permitted driving restricted to certain days, times and locations. However, unless ordered of the court’s own accord, motorists are not eligible to apply for ignition interlock fund assistance and are responsible for all costs associated with the installation and maintenance of the device.

What are the IID requirements with a DUI 2nd or greater offense conviction?

If a person has a prior conviction within the past 10 years for DUI or Adult DWI in Tennessee or a similar offense in another jurisdiction, the court may order a restricted driver’s license.  However, the court must order that the person operate only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.

Does a violation of the Implied Consent law require the use of an IID with a restricted driver’s license?

A refusal under the Implied Consent law does not automatically trigger the requirement for an IID.  In fact, no ignition interlock device is required unless the person (1) is found to have violated the Tennessee Implied Consent law; (2) is convicted of the related-DUI offense (assuming it is a first offense); and (3) has one of the qualifying prior convictions as noted above.

Anyone arrested for DUI (driving under the influence), or another related charge, should immediately contact a Tennessee DUI Attorney familiar with Tennessee DUI laws.  For more information about the crime of DUI or about Tennessee ignition interlock device requirements, Steve and Sara are available by calling 865-249-7200.  You may also wish to visit www.tndui.com for more information about the offense of driving under the influence in Tennessee.

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  1. #1 by Jesse - June 28th, 2018 at 09:29

    I have a DUI with my Prescription Medication. Do I have to get an Interlock Device installed in my vehicle? I live in Tennessee. This DUI occurred in Sevierville TN. I would really appreciate your come back and input. Thanks… Jesse

  2. #2 by Sara Compher-Rice - June 28th, 2018 at 09:38

    Unfortunately, Tennessee law makes no distinction between Driving Under the Influence (DUI) convictions based upon the consumption of alcohol or prescription medication. Accordingly, even though the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) only screens for alcohol, those convicted of DUI by drugs (prescription or elicit) are still required to install and comply with the requirements of the IID for 365 consecutive days before your Tennessee Driver’s License may be reinstated.

  3. #3 by Michael Prokoff - September 1st, 2018 at 16:20

    I have been using a (IID) for 6 months , I don’t have to drive everyday but I was told I have to use it everyday. Is it true? Thanks.

  4. #4 by Leigh - December 15th, 2018 at 23:05

    I was arrested for my 2nd dui in March 2016, convicted August 2016. I have to have the interlock for the additional 6mos. Will the new laws that were put in place July 2016 apply to me? Mainly the one stating no violation within the last 120 days? Or since I was arrested prior to July, they don’t apply?

  5. #5 by Steve Oberman - February 11th, 2019 at 03:18

    As much as we would like to help you, unfortunately it is not appropriate to provide legal advice through this forum. Please consult with your lawyer or contact us by telephone to discuss our fee to research this topic for you. Best of luck, Steve Oberman

  6. #6 by Steve Oberman - February 11th, 2019 at 03:19

    As much as we would like to help you, unfortunately it is not appropriate to provide legal advice through this forum. Please consult with your lawyer or contact us by telephone at (865) 249-7200 to discuss our fee to research this topic for you. Best of luck, Steve Oberman

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