Wisconsin Law on Breathalyzers in Cars: What You Probably Didn’t Know about State-Issued IIDs
Getting a DUI in Milwaukee or anywhere else the state of Wisconsin often results in many penalties and fines that will affect you for months or even years to come. Drunk driving laws in any state are not to be taken lightly, but offenders who have broken certain DUI laws in Wisconsin have had to pay the consequences with state-issued breathalyzers known as Ignition Interlock Devices, or IIDs, installed in their vehicles.
How Car Breathalyzers Work
IIDs are devices fitted into a person’s vehicle and prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking too much. An IID works much like a breathalyzer: the driver blows into the device so it can measure the amount of alcohol in their system. If the driver’s alcohol content exceeds 0.02%, then the device temporarily locks the vehicle’s ignition, preventing the person from driving anywhere under the influence.
The first time alcohol is detected by the IID, the wait time is only a few minutes before the vehicle can start again. However, three failed breath samples results in a longer lockout when attempting to start an IID-equipped vehicle.
Breath sample data is sent wirelessly to the authority (court, DMV, probation officer, etc.) who ordered the device to be installed.
How Much IIDs Cost
When Wisconsin law requires a breathalyzer in your car, it costs you about $1,000 per year per vehicle, plus any repairs, replacements, and other charges due to the make and model of your car.
Learn About More Wisconsin Drunk Driving Charges:
- Penalties for 1st offense OWI in Wisconsin
- Penalties for 2nd offense OWI in Wisconsin
- Penalties for 3rd offense OWI in Wisconsin
- Penalties for 4th offense OWI in Wisconsin
- Penalties for 5th offense OWI in Wisconsin
Who Has to Have a Car Breathalyzer
In the state of Wisconsin, the penalties of a DUI charge often require IIDs to be installed in the offender’s vehicle as soon as possible. IIDs are issued to first-time OWI offenders if their blood alcohol concentration was above .15% at the time of the arrest or if they refused to take a field sobriety test. First offenders may also need a breathalyzer in their car if there was a minor under 16 in the vehicle. All repeat OWI offenders receive IIDs, regardless of whether or not they refuse a field sobriety test.
Refusing a Breathalyzer or Field Sobriety Test
Depending on the situation, an IID can be installed in the offender’s car for months, or even years after a DUI charge. Implied consent laws state if a person is arrested by an officer who has cause to believe they have been driving under the influence, then that person consents to having their blood, breath, or urine tested for the purpose of determining their blood alcohol content. First-time drunk driving offenders who refuse to take a field sobriety test at the time of the arrest may get an IID installed in their vehicle for up to 1 year. Two-time DUI offenders can get an IID for up to 2 years, and third-time DUI offenders can get one for up to 3 years.