The DUI penalties in Kentucky may have become less severe for some offenders. As reported by LEX 18, the courts will consider approving an alternative to a lengthy license suspension for certain motorists convicted of a DUI charge. A judge may approve an alleged offender’s participation in an ignition interlock device program. 

Instead of a months-long license suspension, an individual may have the option of blowing into an IID before starting his or her vehicle. For first-time DUI offenders, the program may last only four months. A repeat offender, however, may need to drive with an IID for several years if approved. 

How the IID works 

If the IID shows a BAC level of 0.02% or more, the vehicle will not start. The driver must wait for about 10 minutes before blowing into the device again. During the course of the program, a motorist must provide a random breath test when the ignition interlock system requests it. 

A breath-test request may come at any time while an individual is driving. An installed camera takes a picture each time a motorist blows into the device. This prevents someone other than the driver from taking the test. 

The need for regular device calibration 

Like some of the roadside breath test devices used by law enforcement at traffic stops, the IIDs may provide inaccurate results under certain circumstances. Calibrating the breath test device regularly is an important part of the program requirements. 

Under the Bluegrass State’s Ignition Interlock Law, motorists must appear in person to recalibrate the IID. An official also monitors the data to ensure a motorist complies with the rules of the program. 

Contest a charge or apply for the IID program 

A DUI can bring serious consequences, but alleged offenders have a legal right to contest the charges. If, for example, results from an inaccurate roadside test device resulted in a motorist’s arrest, the charge may not lead to a conviction. When a conviction is unavoidable, however, applying for an IID program may bring a much lesser punishment.