Malloy signs law to approve ignition interlock for first time DUI offenders

Drunk drivers convicted of a first offense will be required to have ignition interlock Breathalyzers installed on their cars as part of a new law signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy Monday.

The law will go into effect on July 1, 2015.

“This ignition interlock requirement is one of several more stringent penalties and measures we are implementing to combat and reduce the kinds of irresponsible behaviors – like impaired, distracted and reckless driving – that inevitably lead to crashes, injuries and death on our roads and highways,” Malloy said.

Under the law, the device will be maintained for six months on a first offense, a year for a second offense, and two years on a third offense.

The law also:

*Lessens the suspension period for all administrative per se violations to 45 days, but imposes ignition interlock requirements after the suspension ends.


*Eliminates the 90-day waiting period for a special operator’s permit for a first administrative per se violation for refusing to submit to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test;

*Changes the required license suspension period for someone who fails to use an IID as required.

*Allows the DMV commissioner to impose ignition interlock requirements on Connecticut residents following an out-of-state DUI conviction that occurs within 10 years of a previous DUI conviction in Connecticut or another state.

*Decreases, in some cases, the suspension period for drivers under age 21 who are convicted of DUI for the second time.

An ignition interlock is a device about the size of a cell phone that is wired into the ignition system of a vehicle.  A convicted drunk driver must blow into the device in order to start their vehicle.  If they have a measurable amount of alcohol in their system, the vehicle will not start. Interlocking devices have been shown to deter drinking and driving and DUI offenders using interlocks have acknowledged that the devices have changed their behavior.