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What are the Rules on IIDs (Ignition Interlock Devices) in Wisconsin?

By Andrew Mishlove on September 07, 2016


In Wisconsin, most alcohol-related driving convictions now carry the requirement of mandatory IID installation.  This penalty is often misunderstood.  Here is a breakdown on what you need to know.

What is an IID?

IIDs are electronic devices that are attached to the ignition system of a motor vehicle. They require the driver to submit a breath sample into the device in order to start the vehicle.  While the vehicle is in motion, the driver will be randomly prompted to submit a breath sample.  If at any point the sample is positive for alcohol, the vehicle’s horn and emergency flashers will activate until the driver pulls over and turns the vehicle off.

Where do I get an IID?

There are a number of IID companies that are approved in Wisconsin. At present, there is no company in Wisconsin that markets IIDs for motorcycles.  IIDs are also unavailable for some newer luxury or exotic cars.  A complete list of all IID centers in Wisconsin, along with the pricing for each company, can be found here:  http://wisconsindot.gov/Documents/about-wisdot/who-we-are/dsp/iid-service-center-list.pdf.

Who needs an IID?

The IID requirement applies to all OWI/DUI or refusal convictions, with one exception: it does not apply to first-offense OWI/DUI convictions where the subject consented to a chemical test, and the result was less than .15.   In other words, it applies to all first offense convictions with a test result of .15 and above, all refusals and all second or subsequent convictions.

Here is a confusing twist: the IID requirement applies to all convictions charged as a first offense if there was a prior OWI/DUI charge. Because the lookback in charging a second offense is only ten years, it is possible to have two first convictions.

For example, if a person had a first offense OWI/DUI conviction fifteen years ago and was arrested again, it would be charged as a first offense again.  The IID lookback period, however, is lifetime. So, this (second) first offense conviction would be a second offense conviction for IID purposes and, therefore, would require IID.

The IID requirement has two parts. First, it applies to the driver’s license. That is, no one under an IID order may operate any motor vehicle unless it has an IID installed. Second, it applies to all vehicles registered in the subject’s name, unless those vehicles are specifically exempted by the court.  This can be very inconvenient for people who own multiple cars and for those who operate a company vehicle.  Also, if you own a motorcycle, it MUST be exempted as there is currently not a company in Wisconsin offering an IID for a motorcycle.  Failure to install an IID in every vehicle in your name (unless exempted) will prevent you from obtaining a license.

Can I wait out the IID order?

Overall, if a person owns or intends to drive a vehicle, no, it cannot be avoided.  While the revocation will begin upon conviction, the time period for ignition interlock does not begin running until a person obtains a driver’s license or occupational license AND has an IID installed.

Sometimes, in a first offense case, it is possible for an attorney to attempt a negotiation where the IID requirement may be dropped.  Though it may be difficult, sometimes it is possible.

The IID laws can be difficult to navigate.  If you ever have any questions, call Mishlove and Stuckert for at 414-332-3499 as soon as possible.

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