Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are required for you to resume driving after a DUI. Here are five key things to know:
- IIDs prevent your car from starting if they detect alcohol on your breath.
- You are required to have IIDs installed in all the vehicles you drive.
- You face at least 30 days in jail and a 3-year license revocation for failing to use an IID as required.
- IIDs cost about $150 to install and another $100 per month to maintain.
- You may be able to get out of getting an IID if you can show “undue hardship.”
Below our Las Vegas DUI attorneys discuss:
- 1. How long do I need to have an IID in Nevada?
- 2. What if I fail an IID test?
- 3. What are the penalties if I do not use an IID?
- 4. Do I have to put one in all my vehicles?
- 5. Can I get out of the IID requirement?
- 6. How do they work?
- 7. How do I get an IID?
- 8. How do I reinstate my suspended license in Nevada?
- 9. What is the sentence for a DUI in Nevada?
It depends on the specific conviction:
Nevada DUI conviction
|12 to 36 months
|Misdemeanor DUI with a breath alcohol concentration / blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.18% or higher
|12 to 36 months
|Misdemeanor DUI with a BAC less than 0.18%
DUI-firsts carry a 185-day license revocation period with the ability to drive right away with an IID. A second-time DUI carries a 1-year license revocation period with the ability to drive right away with an IID. Felony DUIs carry a 3-year license revocation of driving privileges with the ability to drive right away with an IID.1
IIDs keep a log of all failed breath tests. At your 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 you using mouthwash with alcohol — there may be no repercussions. Otherwise, the judge will likely increase the length of time you must use the IID.
If the failed test occurred in the last four months of your IID sentence, Nevada DMV interlock rules allow the judge to 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 you to abstain from alcohol, then a failed test could result in you going to jail.
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 Department of Motor Vehicles will revoke your license for three years. If you drive without an IID again, the Nevada DMV will revoke your license for five years.3
It is also a misdemeanor for anyone but you to blow in your IID. The penalty includes:
- Up to 6 months in jail; and/or
- Up to $1,000 in fines4
Yes. If you are ordered to use IIDs, you are required to install one in every car and motorcycle you drive. It makes no difference whether or not you own the cars.
You may drive your employers’ company cars without an IID only if:
- There is written proof the employer was notified of your IID restriction; and
- That written proof is kept in the company car at all times; and
- 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 their awareness of your IID restriction.5
Under Nevada DMV interlock laws, if you are convicted of a DUI-first, you can potentially get out of having to use an IID. You would need to show that the IID requirement would cause you undue hardship. There are four possible grounds for undue hardship:
- You cannot provide a deep lung sample, and a physician confirms this in writing;
- You reside more than 100 miles from an IID manufacturer or agent;
- Maintaining an IID would pose an economic hardship; or
- Your car is necessary to travel for work or to obtain medicine, food, necessities, or health care for you or your immediate family6
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 you are required to blow.
If the breath sample is alcohol-free, the car can start. If the IID detects that your BAC is 0.02% or higher, the IID will disable the car from starting because you are presumably under the influence of alcohol.7
6.1. “Rolling Tests”
IIDs test your 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 you to ensure you are 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, you usually have six minutes to breathe into the device. If you do not pass the breath test or neglect to provide a sample in time, the car will not stop. Instead, the IID will register a fail in its log.
You must go to a certified service interlock provider that offers IIDs certified by the Nevada Committee on Testing for Intoxication. The court may provide a list of where you can go to get the IID.
Only employees at certified service providers may install, check, repair, and remove breath interlock devices. Once you get the IID, you must provide proof of ignition interlock device installation to the DMV.
7.1 Approved interlock providers in Nevada
- AlcoAlert Interlock, Inc.
- Alcohol Detection Systems – Determinator
- B.E.S.T. Labs Inc. – FR9000
- Draeger (RoadGuard) – Draeger Interlock or Draeger XT
- Guardian – Guardian AMS 2500
- Instant Interlock
- LMG / Lifesafer
- Low Cost Interlock
- Smart Start – SSI 20/20
7.2. Costs and maintenance
It usually costs up to $150 to install and another $100 per month to maintain each IID (about $2.50 to $3.50 per day). You are also responsible for the costs of repairing, calibrating, and removing the IID.
You must get your IIDs inspected by the manufacturer or its agent regularly. The frequency of these inspections depends on your DUI conviction:8
Nevada DUI conviction
Frequency of IID inspection
|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%
Contact the DMV for the exact requirements in your particular case. Expect to appear at a DMV office in person, pay reinstatement fees, and show proof of SR-22 insurance (proof of financial responsibility).
In some cases, you may have to take a driving skills test.
|DUI 1st (in 7 years)
|DUI 2nd (in 7 years)
|DUI 3rd (in 7 years)
|Category B felony:
Note that refusing to take a preliminary breath test or an evidentiary chemical test will result in an immediate license revocation for at least one year.9
- 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). See, for example, Silva v. State (2016) 403 P.3d 378.
- NRS 484C.470.
- NRS 483.460; NRS 484C.470.
- NRS 484C.475. See, for example, Chamberlain v. State (Court of Appeals of Nevada, 2022) 514 P.3d 468.
- NRS 484C.460.
- NRS 484C.450.
- NRS 484C.460.
- NRS 484C.400. NRS 484C.150. NRS 484C.160