An arrest for operating while intoxicated (OWI)r in Wisconsin can quickly drain your bank account. After you have paid your bail, your fines and your fees, there is still the matter of the ignition interlock device if you wish to drive your vehicle in the aftermath of an OWI conviction.
The good news about the ignition interlock device is that it will give the state the confidence it needs to allow you behind the wheel. The bad news is that, like everything else surrounding OWI, it’ll cost you.
What Is Ignition Interlock?
An ignition interlock device is a system installed in a motor vehicle that prevents an intoxicated driver from starting and operating their vehicle. The system is programmed to detect alcohol on a driver’s breath and disable the ignition when it is detected. Think of it as a “Breathalyzer” for your car.
When Are Ignition Interlock Devices Required?
Wisconsin law requires the installation of ignition interlock devices for:
How Much Does an Ignition Interlock Cost?
The price can vary based on the device model as well as the make and model of the vehicle it is being installed in. A ballpark estimate for average installation cost is $100. That is only the beginning, as the devices also have monthly fees for around $90 and bi-monthly calibration fees of $35. It costs roughly $1,000 per year to maintain an ignition interlock device in one vehicle. When it is time to remove the device, there will be an additional cost for removal.
Wisconsin law requires the device to be installed in ALL vehicles owned by the subject. Fortunately, the courts have been authorized to exempt additional vehicles from the law in the event of financial hardship.
If you face an OWI conviction or need help getting back on the road, your first step is getting in touch with an experienced OWI defense lawyer.