Attorney Matt Jett
Is a Blow Device Necessary to Drive After a DWI?
As a DWI attorney in St. Louis, I am often asked whether or not a blow device will have to be put in your car. An ignition interlock is a device you blow into, and whether or not you will be required to have one depends on a few things:
Ignition Interlock is Required When:
- Blow devices can be required by the Court as a condition of probation for anyone who is on probation for a DWI.
- This is up to the Judge
- This includes first-time offenses if the Judge orders ignition interlock as a ‘special condition of probation’
- Blow devices are required by law for 2nd and subsequent DWI’s
- This isn’t up to the Judge, it is the law in Missouri
- An ignition interlock is required for a minimum of 6 months from the time of reinstatement of the driver's license.
- Blow devices are required by law if you are on a limited driving privilege (hardship license) during a long-term, alcohol-related revocation.
- If you are revoked for “refusing to blow“
- If you are on a 5-year or 10-year denial
- 5-year denial happens if you get 2 alcohol convictions within a 5-year period, or are convicted of DWI manslaughter.
- 10-year denial happens if you have three or more convictions for DWI or DWI-related offenses
What about my company car?
There is an exception to the ignition interlock requirement, but only if you get a court order that allows you to drive your employer-owned vehicle without an ignition interlock device.
- ONLY APPLIES IF YOU GET THE COURT TO GRANT THE EXEMPTION
- You can drive without interlock for employment-purposes, in an employer-owned vehicle only
- This does not apply for self-employed people or owners of businesses that have employer-owned vehicles.
What happens if I get caught driving without a blow device?
If you are required to have Ignition Interlock and you are caught driving without a blow device:
- This is a Class A Misdemeanor in Missouri
- Carries a penalty of up to 1-year in county jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.00.
- Your License will be revoked if you plead guilty:
- 1 year for a first offense
- 5 years for second and subsequent offenses