Circumventing ignition interlock court orders can lead to penalties

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2023 | Criminal Law, DUI

If a driver is convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) in Indiana, they’ll have to deal with several penalties simultaneously. For a first offense, a driver may serve up to 60 days in jail and pay as much as $500 in fines. A court may also suspend the driver’s license for up to two years.

Alternatively, a court may grant the driver probationary restricted driving privileges if they agree to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle. IIDs lock a vehicle from starting unless it detects a low breath alcohol concentration level from the driver.

Some drivers might try to find creative ways to bypass an IID. However, not only does Indiana have laws prohibiting such actions, but there are penalties for those who break the rules.

Soliciting another person to blow into an IID is prohibited

If a restricted driver asks another non-restricted person to blow into an IID or start a vehicle equipped with an IID, that driver commits a Class C infraction. Although it’s not a criminal charge, the infraction still leads to a $500 fine.

However, a court can also charge the person who knowingly assists the restricted driver with a Class A misdemeanor, which is a criminal charge. On conviction, the person faces up to a year in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine.

Lending a restricted driver a non-IID car is prohibited

Per Indiana law, it’s illegal for a person to knowingly lend, lease or loan a motor vehicle without an IID to a restricted driver. A court can serve the person who lent the vehicle a Class A infraction, which carries a $500 fine.

There’s an exception to this rule if the restricted driver is in an emergency and notifies the court of the situation within 24 hours.

Tampering an IID is prohibited

It’s against the law to tamper with an IID, either to find a way to bypass its function or to disable it. Anyone who intentionally tampers an IDD can face a Class B misdemeanor charge. On conviction, the person faces up to 180 days in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

Although the penalties for trying to bypass an IID may not be as heavy as the actual punishments for OWI, they’re still offenses that go on a person’s criminal record. Anyone charged for attempting to skirt around a device might want to consider their legal options.