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Rhode Island Ignition Interlock Device Laws

Any individual convicted of a second or third DUI offense within a five year period may be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for up to a two year period following the sentence imposed. In addition every person convicted of a third or subsequent violation within a five (5) year period shall be subject to having the vehicle owned and operated by the violator seized and sold by the state of Rhode Island.

Expected Costs

The DUI offender is required to pay all costs associated with having an ignition interlock device. That includes an initial installation fee that costs on average $150 and a “supervision” fee that costs approximately $100 a month.

Ignition Interlock Devices

An ignition interlock device is a breath screening device that prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over a pre-set limit. Before starting the vehicle, the driver must blow into the device. If the recorded blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the pre-set limit, the vehicle will not start. The device is located inside the car, and is connected to the engine’s ignition system. Once the vehicle is in motion, the interlock device requires frequent breath samples at certain intervals. If a breath sample is not provided or if the blood alcohol content exceeds the limit, the device will issue a warning, record the event, and set an alarm system in motion until the engine is turned off.

SECTION 31-27-2.8 – Ignition interlock system imposed as part of sentence – Requirements.

Any person convicted under the provisions of § 31-27-2(d)(2) or (3) may be prohibited by the sentencing judge from operating a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock system for a period of not more than two (2) years following the completion of any sentence imposed pursuant to that section.