Drunk driving can cause some serious consequences for your health and the safety of those around you. You should never be behind the wheel of a car once you have had something to drink. However, that doesn’t change the fact that many people do actually drink and then drive themselves around town. A new device might be changing how frequently this happens with the Ignition Interlock Program.

What is the Ignition Interlock Program?

The Ignition Interlock Program is often mandatory, though there are a few individuals who voluntarily opt in. Manitoba law dictates that you must participate in this program if you have had any type of impaired driving offence. You will be transitioned into the program once your driver’s licence is being reinstated and the suspension has expired.

The program itself is an in-car breathalyzer that is wired directly into the car’s ignition. It is located just inside the car on the driver’s side, making it easy to blow into each time you enter the vehicle. In order to hold you accountable for making good decisions while driving, the device keeps a record of every sample you give. When you haven’t been drinking, the car will start normally. If it detects any alcohol on the driver’s breath, the vehicle will not be able to start.

Keep in mind that the ignition interlock device will take your breath samples at random throughout the ride. You will have to provide one to avoid it recording the event and setting off an alarm system.

How Long Does It Last?

How long can you expect to need the Ignition Interlock Program? This depends on how many prior offences you have for impaired driving. Once your licence is reinstated, you will have to figure out which term length you qualify for. The following are the typical term lengths based on the number of convictions you have had:

  • First and second convictions: One year in the program
  • Third conviction: Three years in the program
  • Fourth or subsequent conviction: Lifetime in the program

What Does It Cost?

Unfortunately, it isn’t free to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. The fees associated with it are similar to paying a hefty fine for your actions and convictions. Prepare yourself now for the upcoming costs so that you can afford them when your licence is reinstated. All of the obligations will be your responsibility.

  • Administration Fees: $250
  • Installation Charge: $145
  • De-Installation Charge: $50

If you can’t afford the charges, there may be financing available through Manitoba Public Insurance. In addition to the one-time charges for the device itself, you will also be subject to an $89 monthly fee for the monitoring.

The Ignition Interlock Program holds a lot of promise for preventing drunk drivers on the streets of Winnipeg. If you feel that you might be facing charges related to impaired driving, you might need a recognized Winnipeg DUI lawyer. Be sure to give Matthew Gould a call today to see how he can help you to understand your rights and protect yourself in court.