Ignition Interlock Systems in North Carolina

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Why is it important to hire a DWI lawyer quickly after being charged with a DWI?”


Drinking and driving is a serious offense in North Carolina. As such, a conviction of driving while impaired (DWI) can result in serious consequences. Common punishments include fines, jail time, probation, and license suspension. Most people rely on driving to get around. When there is no convenient access to public transportation, lack of carpooling options, or any other transportation issue, the suspension of a license can be inconvenient and catastrophic. That is why you need an experienced DWI attorney to represent you in any DWI proceeding so that you can get the best outcome possible given the circumstances.


start-stop-button-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-DWI-Attorney-300x225North Carolina law makes it illegal to drive a vehicle in any public area with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more. The more DWI convictions an individual receives, the harsher the penalties that will be imposed.


Depending on the circumstances of the case, a defendant may be eligible for an ignition interlock system to be installed in his or her car. An ignition interlock system is a device that requires a driver to blow into it periodically so that it can detect any alcohol in the driver’s system. The system is supposed to detect even the smallest amounts of alcohol on a person’s breath, but of course, there is no perfect system.


If a driver blows into the device and alcohol is detected, the ignition on the car “locks” down and the car cannot be started. Additionally, there may be prompts while driving for the driver to blow into the device. A driver may be required to blow into the device while driving in case he or she is engaging in drinking while driving or because alcohol concentration can increase gradually over small amounts of time. If the device detects that there is alcohol in the driver’s system, an alarm is set off. This alarm can be the lights of your vehicle flashing or repetitive horn honking to attract the attention of law enforcement who are on the lookout for drunk drivers.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration works with the state of North Carolina to set the standards and conditions of the ignition interlock system. Currently, there are only three vendors who are authorized by the state to install ignition interlock systems. The use and maintenance of the ignition interlock system come at the cost of the driver. The driver is responsible for installation and any maintenance that must be done on the device.


With the evolution of technology, the ignition interlock system becomes more and more accurate. This makes both state officials and the driver of the vehicle happy. A tremendous strain can be placed on a driver with a DWI when he or she no longer has the ability to drive to work or other engagements, and instead must rely on others or public transportation. The ignition interlock system makes everyone happy. The state can be confident that it is preventing drivers from driving drunk and the person with the DWI gets to continue driving.


DWI Help in North Carolina


Navigating a DWI charge and possible sentences can be difficult. You need an experienced DWI attorney on your side. The attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC have years of experience defending DWIs and thus possess the requisite knowledge and skills to get the best results possible under the circumstances. We work tirelessly to provide the best defense possible and get you the best outcome given the circumstances. Hire an attorney who pays attention to the details, an attorney at Arnold & Smith, PLLC.  Please contact us today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.






The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.







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