Connecticut Enacts New Ignition Interlock Device Law

The State of Connecticut just enacted a law requiring those who have a 2nd DUI conviction within a 10 year period to participate in the ignition interlock program. Drivers of ignition interlock equipped vehicles must blow into the device prior to trying to start the car. The interlock device prevents will prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver’s breath registers an alcohol reading above a pre-set limit. In Massachusetts, that limit is .02 and in Connecticut, the initial start limit is .025. These devices enhance public safety because they physically prevent a DUI offender from starting his or her motor vehicle while intoxicated. Prior to the enactment of this law, ignition interlock usage in Connecticut was voluntary and it allowed those serving DUI license suspensions to get back on the road after serving one year of the suspension term. There are currently four companies approved to install ignition interlock devices in Connecticut: Consumer Safety Tech, Inc. (CST), Draeger Safety Diagnostics, Smart Start, and SOL America. 

Connecticut’s ignition interlock law is similar to the law enacted as part of Melanie’s Law in Massachusetts. Here, all second offenders are required to serve at least 2 years in the ignition interlock program and the devices are required for all subsequent offenders while on any type of DUI hardship license. The Mass. RMV requires interlock users to have their devices downloaded and serviced every 30 days, while Connecticut requires ignition interlock devices to be serviced every two months.

The Connecitcut Governor also enacted a law which requires background checks for DMV employees who have the authority to issue driver’s licenses and Registry ID cards. The purpose of this law is to enhance the security of state-issued licenses and ID cards, in accordance with the federal “Real ID” law.