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Skirting around IID requirements is a punishable offense

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Drunk Driving

When a court convicts a driver of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol, one of the first administrative penalties is the immediate suspension of the person’s license. However, the court may also allow a convicted driver to apply for a restricted license that restores some of their privileges. The trade-off for this limited restored driving privilege is that the driver must have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicles.

IIDs prevent drivers from starting their car if they’ve been drinking. They can also force drivers to take breath alcohol tests during trips to ensure they remain sober throughout a drive.

Some drivers might try to circumvent their IID to start their cars. Trying to trick or tamper with IIDs in Maryland is a punishable offense, and drivers and their accomplices can face penalties.

The offenses

The following actions involving IID use are offenses under Maryland law:

  • Soliciting others to start an IID vehicle: The law prohibits a person with an IID-restricted license from requesting another to start or attempt to start an IID-equipped vehicle.
  • Providing help to an IID-restricted driver: It’s illegal for a person to start or attempt to start a motor vehicle with an IID with the intent to provide an operable vehicle for a person with a restricted license.
  • Tampering with an IID: It’s against the law to tamper or circumvent the operation of an IID.
  • Offering a non-IID vehicle to a restricted driver: It’s an offense for a person to knowingly furnish a vehicle without an IID to another whom the person knows is a restricted driver.

While the last offense applies to most cases, a court can allow a restricted driver who’s a commercial driver’s license holder to use a non-IID vehicle for as long as it’s for their work and they don’t have any DUI convictions in the last five years.

The penalties

If a person, whether a driver or another who helped the driver, is convicted of an IID violation, they face up to two months of jail time or as much as $500 in fines. Alternatively, a court can sentence both penalties.

If you face charges of breaking Maryland’s IID requirement, it’s important to understand the potential penalties and consequences of a conviction. Consulting with an attorney can be beneficial in navigating the legal process and exploring your options.