Since July of 2004, more than 75,000 ignition interlock devices have been installed in vehicles. These were installed as a result of the Transportation Restoration Act, passed in 1998. Under Maine statute 29-A §2508 a person convicted of a second or subsequent OUI offense may petition for early license reinstatement if they agree to install an approved ignition interlock device in their vehicle and have satisfied all other conditions for license reinstatement as required by the Secretary of State.
An ignition interlock is a sophisticated system that tests for alcohol on a driver’s breathe. It is a device that requires a driver to blow into a small handheld alcohol sensor unit that is attached to a vehicle’s dashboard. In Maine the car cannot be started if a BAC of .025% or higher is detected. The system not only requires a test to start the engine, but also requires a test every few minutes while driving. Termed the “rolling or running retest,” it prevents a friend from starting the car and then allowing an impaired driver from taking over the wheel. It also prevents the operator from drinking while driving.
Ignition interlock devices can be a valued asset for OUI offenders trying to get their lives back on track. With an ignition interlock device installed, OUI offenders can maintain employment, attend school and take care of family obligations.
Installation of the device is voluntary for a second or third offense. A person meeting the following conditions may file a petition with the Secretary of State to receive written approval prior to installing the device.
- The license of a person with 2 OUI offenses may be reinstated after serving 9 months of the 3 year suspension if the person installs and maintains an approved ignition interlock device for a period of 2 years in the vehicle the person operates.
- The license of a person with 3 OUI offenses may be reinstated after serving 3 years of the 6 year suspension if the person installs and maintains an approved interlock device for a period of 3 years in the vehicle the person operates.
- The license of a person with 4 or more OUI offenses may be reinstated after the total period of suspension is served and only if an interlock device is installed and maintained for a total of 4 years. Ignition interlock is only mandatory for restoration if the fourth offense occurred after August 31, 2008.
If you are dealing with a violation occurring prior to September 1, 2008, the length of suspension time may be different than those indicated above. If you have been accused by the police in Maine of OUI, “Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs”, Habitual Offender (HO), Operating under Suspension (OAS), possession of a controlled drug or any alleged motor vehicle or criminal offense, feel free to call Attorney John Webb today at 207-283-6400 and arrange a free consultation to discuss your case or visit: www.nicholswebb.com or www.OUIhotline.com.