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If you have an IID, beware of the Mississippi summer heat

On Behalf of | Apr 14, 2024 | Criminal Defense

If you’ve been ordered to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle(s) after a DUI conviction to get your driving privileges reinstated, it’s crucial that you understand how it works, what’s required of you and how to avoid unnecessary problems with it. While having a restricted driver’s license that requires an IID isn’t ideal, it’s certainly better than not being able to drive legally at all for the duration of your license suspension.

Like any electronic device, an IID can malfunction. In some cases, it may “report” that a driver has failed the sobriety test when blowing into it or neglected to do a rolling retest while driving. At the very least, this is going to require proving that you weren’t trying to drive under the influence. It could result in the loss of your IID – and your ability to drive legally.

That’s why it’s so important to avoid unnecessary malfunctions that can be caused by environmental factors. While freezing temperatures are among those issues for drivers in northern states, here in Mississippi, a more common issue is excessive heat. 

Preventing heat damage to your IID

With the temperatures and humidity rising as we head into summer, it seems like a good time to discuss how you can protect your IID from damage caused by heat and sun. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Keep a sleeve or other covering on your IID – especially when your vehicle is parked and there’s little or no air getting in.
  • Put a sunshade on your windshield (and possibly the back window) when you park your car.
  • If your IID has a removable mouthpiece, take it with you when you leave your car. It can melt in extreme heat and sun.
  • Be sure your battery doesn’t run low, which can happen in extreme temperatures. A dead battery can result in a report of a failed breath test, among other potential issues. Note that an IID does not drain your battery – unlike leaving an interior light on.

Of course, the best-case scenario is to avoid a DUI conviction in the first place, which may be possible, depending on the circumstances, with experienced legal guidance. If you’re past that point, it’s critical that you know how to use and care for an IID so that you can get through that part of your DUI consequences and get your unrestricted driving privileges back.