Many states frequently revisit their ignition interlock device programs and legislation around them, to ensure they are considering the needs of all their citizens. Legislators may vote to update or add new conditions to an existing interlock policy, which typically will only impact those whose offenses occur on or after the date the legislation takes effect. Intoxalock strives to stay on top of legislative changes and communicate them in a timely manner to our customers. This blog post will explain the specifics of some recent updates made in Louisiana and Utah.
Utah Updates Ignition Interlock Law with House Bill 62
Utah has updated the license suspension penalty for first offenders. Now, first-time DUI offenders will not have their license suspended as long as they enroll in the state’s ignition interlock program and remain compliant with the policy. Previously, offenders would have a hard license suspension, the length of which was determined by their prior offenses.
Now, they can avoid this suspension by installing an ignition interlock device from an approved provider. FIrst offenders will have their IID for at least 18 months, and repeat offenders for at least three years. To remain compliant, offenders must have their ignition interlock device calibrated every 60 days (or more frequently if ordered by the court). If they fail todo so, their interlock term will be extended by 60 days.
Offenders who are unable to perform the deep breathing required for breath alcohol content testing with the IID can apply for a medical exemption, but they must provide proof of this with medical documentation from their doctor.
Intoxalock representatives are here to help with any questions you may have about Utah’s updated law and how it may impact you. Contact us at 833-623-0200 with questions.
Texas Limits Judge’s Discretion with House Bill 291
As of September 1, 2023 Texas has made a minor update to their interlock policy. Prior to September 1, 2023, judges had discretion in the enforcement of an Occupational Driver’s License ignition interlock requirement. Now, judges must revoke an offender’s Occupational Driver’s License if the offender does not adhere to the associated ignition interlock requirement.
Louisiana Changes Interlock Policy with Senate Bill 82 and House Bill 484
The Louisiana legislature recently passed two bills that made updates to the state’s interlock law. Senate Bill 82 created a list of violations that will lead to an extension of the ignition interlock term. This creates a compliance-based policy, a change from the previous policy. Previously, offenders were required to install their ignition interlock for the amount of time set by court or statute. Now, offenders are required to install the ignition interlock for the set of the length of time, but that time can be increased if they incur any of the following violations:
- Device tampering
- circumventing the device
- failure to have proper service/device calibration every 30 days, more than two times during the period of installation
- 3 or more failures to complete an initial breath test and/or random retest during a 30-day period
- any unauthorized removal of the device
If any of these violations occur, the offender’s IID term will be extended for six months.
This bill also created a financial assistance program for Louisiana interlock users. The Affordability Program covers 50% of the cost of installation, calibration, leasing, and removal for qualified offenders. To qualify, the offender must show proof that they qualify for Medicaid, social security disability insurance, social security income, the public indigent defender’s program, or SNAP.
The bill also creates a complaint process within the Department of Public Safety and Corrections for offenders who are refused service in the affordability program. This complaint process will be created by August 1, 2023, and individuals who are refused service can report this information to the DPSC. The complaints will be investigated within 30 days of the report, and the new legislation gives Louisiana State Police the authority to issue a warning, suspension, or revoke the certification of a business or technician if the investigation concludes that an improper refusal of service occurred.
With House Bill 484, the blood alcohol concentration threshold for many harsher penalties was lowered from 0.20 to 0.15 Thus, offenders with a BAC of .15 or higher now risk a two-year administrative license suspension and mandatory IID use. The new law requires the court to base suspension and other penalties on the BAC in the final case disposition and sentencing minutes.
This bill also eliminates the 30-45 day waiting period for a “hardship” license. Now, offenders can gain an immediate restricted license with use of an IID if they have a BAC of .15 or higher.
If you need help understanding the changes to the law, your attorney should be able to assist. Our ignition interlock specialists are also here to help with any questions you may have at 833-623-0200.
Intoxalock Can Help Fulfill IID Requirements
Intoxalock is an approved provider in both Utah and Louisiana, and can help fulfill your IID requirement. We have more locations than any other provider, and can offer same-day installation. Our technicians will install your device, and ensure you understand how it works. Contact us today for help setting up an appointment.