Tennessee Ignition Interlock Laws

With over 27,000 DUI arrests annually, Tennessee is no stranger to the scourge of DUIs on its highways. Like most other states, Tennessee has enacted new legislation that aims to arm DUI courts and law enforcement agencies with the ability to keep drunk drivers off of Tennessee’s highways. While no one tactic has proven to have the “silver bullet” effect, many states (including Tennessee) have turned to Ignition Interlock Devices in the battle against drunk driving.

   An Ignition Interlock Device or IID is a small breath alcohol detection system, about the size of a cell phone, that is installed on the ignition of your car. In order to start your vehicle, you need to blow into a tube affixed to the device, which measures Breath Alcohol Content. If you blow higher than .02, the car will not start. IIDs are exceedingly successful at separating the acts of drinking from driving. Studies have found that IIDs reduce repeat DUI offenses in just about all cases. This is especially important because DUI offenders have the worst rate of recidivism of almost any crime.

Tennessee’s IID statutes enable the judiciary to require the DUI offender equip their vehicles with the device for up to one year after a person’s license is no longer suspended or revoked. IIDs are required for first time offenders only if they were accompanied by minors, were involved in an alcohol caused accident, violated the implied consent law, or were driving with a BAC higher than .15. The implied consent law in Tennessee states that anyone driving an automobile must allow a law enforcement official that believes the driver may be under the influence of a controlled substance to be able to test the driver. Refusal to submit to a test has the same effect as a failed test, in some cases (like for first time DUI offenders, even worse).

While IIDs keep innocent drivers on Tennessee highways safe, they also are a valued asset for DUI offenders trying to get their lives back on track. With an ignition interlock installed, DWI offenders can maintain employment, attend school, get treatment, and take care of family obligations—yet are prevented from driving if alcohol has been used. Offenders and their families benefit because they are not faced with the same transportation, financial, and legal consequences as offenders who do not have the option of installing ignition interlocks.

Smart Start of Tennessee is an approved vendor of Ignition Interlock Devices in the state. Whether you are enrolled in the first time offender program, or are a repeat DUI offender, our offices can help you adhere to the court and DMV rulings, helping to get you safely and securely back on the road. Smart Start IIds rely on the newest most advanced technologies to help separate the acts of drinking and driving. For more information on the locations of the IID technicians at Smart Start of Tennessee can help you separate drinking from driving, fill out our online appointment form or call us at 800-880-3394.

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