Montana Ignition Interlock Laws

People don’t often equate Montana’s rural highways with what many consider “rural” problems like drunken driving. But the sad fact is that over 3,000 people were arrested for DWI in Montana in 2008 and hundreds died due to alcohol related accidents. These are very real issues that Montana legislative bodies and law enforcement agencies are taking very seriously.

In direct response to the nationwide drunk driving problem in this country, Montana has chosen to enact Ignition Interlock Device provisions in their legal statutes. These provisions are aimed at limiting the amount of recidivism amongst Montana DWI offenders and help protect the general public when they take to Montana’s roads and highways. An IID is a small breath alcohol testing device which is attached to the steering column of the car. The ignition interlock device will not allow the car to be started unless the driver blows into the device to demonstrate that he or she is below .029 percent BAC (blood alcohol content).

The language in the Montana DWI statute that references IIDs states that:

“For a first offense, a court may restrict an offender to only operate motor vehicles that are equipped with ignition interlock devices. For either a second or subsequent offense, a defendant who is issued a probationary license is restricted to operating motor vehicles that are equipped with ignition interlock devices. For fourth or subsequent offenses, if an offender is permitted to operate motor vehicles as a condition of probation, such vehicles must be equipped with ignition interlock devices.”

It is important to note that although Ignition Interlock Devices are not REQUIRED for first time offenders, the judge involved in the case may, at his discretion, decide that they are required for the DWI offender to begin driving again. Many times extenuating circumstances involving the case, like sever injury due to alcohol related accidents, or an excessively high BAC will result in the judges decision to require the offender to use an Ignition Interlock Device.

When Montana DWI offender installs an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle, they are able to retain their legal driving status as a provisional driver. This enables them to maintain employment, attend school, complete substance abuse treatment and take care of their responsibilities while adhering to the requirements of the Montana DUI courts. This is particularly important in rural areas where offend­ers may not have access to public transportation alternatives.

Smart Start of Motnana is an approved renter and installer of Ignition Interlock Devices in the sate. Whether you are in Billings, Great Falls or Helena we have installation centers near you ready to help you navigate the many requirements of DWI courts and Motor Vehicle Departments. Call us today at 800-880-3394 or fill out our online appointment form to discuss your requirements and things like costs and logistics and we can help get you on the road in no time! Smart Start of Montana are here to help you get your life back on track, call us today!

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