"Ignition Interlock Devices" in Nevada DUI Law


Ignition interlock devices
(IIDs) are required for Nevada DUI defendants to resume driving. Also called breath interlock devices (BIDs), IIDs prevent vehicles from starting if they detect alcohol on the driver's breath. Failing to use an IID as required is a misdemeanor.

Below our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about ignition interlock devices in Nevada DUI cases.

1. How long do I need to have an IID?

It depends on the specific conviction:

Nevada DUI conviction

IID sentence

Felony DUI:

12 to 36 months

Misdemeanor DUI with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18% or higher

12 to 36 months

Misdemeanor DUI with a BAC of less than 0.18%

185 days

Defendants must wait to get their IIDs installed until either:

DUI-firsts carry a 185-day license suspension with the ability to get a restricted license right away. DUI-seconds carry a 1-year license suspension with no ability to get a restricted license. And felony DUIs carry a 3-year license suspension with the ability to get a restricted license after 1.5 years.1

2. What if I fail an IID test?

IIDs keep a log of all failed breath tests. At the defendant's next appointment with the IID certified service provider, the technician will download the information and give it to the court.

How the court responds to failed tests depends on the specific case. If there was an innocent explanation -- such as the defendant using mouthwash with alcohol -- there may be no repercussions. Otherwise, the judge will likely increase the length of time the defendant must use the IID.

If the failed test occurred in the last four months of the defendant's IID sentence, the judge may increase this sentence by up to 50%:2

Example: Jed is ordered to use an IID for 12 months. In month 10, Jed fails the IID test. Since he is within the last four months of the sentence, the judge can increase his IID sentence by six months -- 50% of his original year-long sentence.

If the judge had ordered the defendant to abstain from alcohol, then a failed test could result in the defendant going to jail.

Man using ignition interlock device (NRS 484C.460)
Using an IID to drive is a standard penalty for all Las Vegas DUI convictions.

3. What are the penalties if I do not use an IID?

Driving without an IID -- or tampering with it -- is a misdemeanor in Nevada. The penalty is either:

  • 30 days to 6 months in jail; or
  • 60 days to 6 months in home confinement and $500 to $1,000 in fines

In addition, the Nevada DMV will revoke the person's license for three years. If the defendant drives without an IID again, the DMV will revoke the license for five years.3

It is also a misdemeanor for people other than the defendant to blow in the defendant's IID. The penalty includes:

  • Up to 6 months in jail; and/or
  • Up to $1,000 in fines4

4. Do I have to put an IID in all my vehicles?

Yes. Defendants ordered to use IIDs are required to install one in every car and motorcycle they drive. It makes no difference whether or not the defendants own the cars.

Defendants may drive their employers' company cars without an IID only if:

  1. There is written proof the employer was notified of the defendant's IID restriction; and
  2. That written proof is kept in the company car at all times; and
  3. The company car is not a commercial vehicle

Written proof can be a court order with the employer's signature. Or it could be a letter written by the employer stating his/her awareness of the defendant's IID restriction.5

5. Can I get out of the IID requirement?

Only defendants convicted of a DUI-first can potentially get out of having to use an IID. The defendant would need to show that the IID requirement would cause him/her undue hardship. There are four possible grounds for undue hardship:

  1. The defendant cannot provide a deep lung sample, and a physician confirms this in writing;
  2. The person resides more than 100 miles from an IID manufacturer or agent;
  3. Maintaining an IID would pose an economic hardship; or
  4. The defendant's car is necessary to travel for work or to obtain medicine, food, necessities, or health care for the defendant or the defendant's immediate family6

6. How do IIDs work?

ingition interlock device
IIDs keep cars from starting if they detect alcohol on the driver's breath.

IIDs are small, no bigger than a mobile phone. They are installed on a vehicle's steering column near the ignition. IIDs have a mouthpiece where the would-be driver is required to blow.

If the breath sample is alcohol-free, the car can start. But if the IID detects that the person's BAC is 0.02% or higher, the IID will disable the car from starting.7

6.1. "Rolling Tests"

IIDs test the driver's breath at the beginning of a car ride and during the drive. Once the car is running, the IID will conduct periodic rolling tests on the driver to ensure he/she is not drinking while driving. This typically occurs within the first 15 minutes of starting the car, and then again at 45-minute intervals.

When the IID asks for a rolling sample, the driver usually has six minutes to breathe into the device. If the driver does not pass the breath test or neglects to provide a sample in time, the car will not stop. Instead, the IID will register a fail in its log.

7. How do I get an IID?

Defendants must go to a certified service provider that offers IIDs certified by the Nevada Committee on Testing for Intoxication. The court may provide a list of where DUI defendants can go to get the IID. 

Only employees at certified service providers may install, check, repair, and remove breath interlock devices. Once DUI defendants get the IID, they must provide proof of installation to the DMV.

7.1 Approved devices

The following models have been certified by the Nevada Committee on Testing for Intoxication:

  • Determinator (Alcohol Detection Systems, Inc)
  • Intoxalock (Consumer Safety Technology)
  • Draeger Interlock or Draeger XT (Draeger)
  • Guardian Model 3060 or Guardian AMS 2000 (Guardian)
  • National Interlock Model WR2 (National Interlock Systems, Inc.)
  • SSI 20/20 (Smart Start, Inc.)
  • FR9000 (B.E.S.T. Labs Inc.)
  • Global Interlock AlcoMinder (Global Interlock Service)

7.2. Costs and maintenance

It usually costs up to $150 to install and another $100 per month to maintain each IID. Defendants are also responsible for the costs of repairing, calibrating, and removing the IID.

Defendants must get their IIDs inspected by the manufacturer or its agent regularly. The frequency of these inspections depends on the defendant's DUI conviction:8

Nevada DUI conviction

Frequency of IID inspection

Felony DUI

Every 90 days

Misdemeanor DUI with a BAC of 0.18% or higher

Every 90 days

Misdemeanor DUI with a BAC of less than 0.18%

Once

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Call our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE for a FREE consultation today.

 Arrested for DUI? Call us...

Arrested for driving under the influence in Nevada? Call our Las Vegas DUI defense attorneys at 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673) for a FREE consultation. We may be able to achieve a favorable resolution without you having to install a breath interlock device in your car.

In California? See our article on California ignition interlock device laws.

In Colorado? See our article on Colorado ignition interlock device laws.


Legal References

  1. NRS 484C.460; NRS 483.460; NRS 483.464; Katherine Jarvis, New Nevada law requiring breathalyzer device for DUI offenders takes effect, KTNV-13 (October 3, 2018).
  2. NRS 484C.470.
  3. NRS 483.460; NRS 484C.470.
  4. NRS 484C.475.
  5. NRS 484C.460.
  6. Same.
  7. NRS 484C.450.
  8. NRS 484C.460.

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