Over 30,000 people in Missouri are arrested and charged with a DWI every single year. Over 300 people in Missouri die in alcohol related auto accidents every single year. The property damage and human injury costs are from alcohol related accidents are hundreds of thousands of dollars every single year.
The lawmakers of the state of Missouri do realize that people make mistakes and break laws. They also realize that most people feel terrible and very sorry after getting a DWI, especially if an accident was caused. They also realize there must be ways to help get offenders back to productive jobs and lives in order to make restitution for their wrong actions. One way of doing this for DWI offenders is the enactment of Ignition Interlock laws.
An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a unit installed on the steering column or dashboard of a car. Like a breathalyzer, the user is required to blow air into it. There must be a BAC (blood alcohol content) below a certain preset number, usually .02 to .03 percent, or the car will not start. The ignition will not work. Also, there will be random breath samples required while the car is being driven. This is to prevent someone sober from blowing into the device just to start the car so a person that may be intoxicated can drive. The purpose of installing an Ignition Interlock Device is to aid the DWI offender in getting to and from work while he or she is completing requirements to get driving privileges reinstated.
If you live in the state of Missouri, and if this is your first DWI conviction, it is up to the judge to order one installed in your car or not. Usually first time offenders do not have to get an Ignition Interlock Device, but if your BAC was unusually high, or an accident resulted in injuries or death, the judge may require you to get one. If you get a second DWI, you will be required to have one installed in your car. (You will lose all driving privileges for a while, and when you get the privilege to drive restored, the IID will be required.) You must make arrangements with a private company to install and maintain the device in your car at your expense. The IID installation is usually $200-$400, and the monthly maintenance fee is between $100-$200 every month. You are usually required to have an IID for a year. However, if you record over three intoxicated breaths, the time can stretch many more months.