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Ignition Interlock License Revocation Reversed

Ignition Interlock Devices

This case shows how a trip to the dentist almost cost an ignition interlock device (IID) user his driver’s license.

John had 7 years of complete and uninterrupted sobriety. He had not had a drink in years. However, he experienced numerous failed start ups. He would try to start his car in the morning to drive to work and sometime his vehicle wouldn’t start. He waited, rinsed his mouth with water, and tried again. Eventually, he was able to start his car and get to work.

John received a letter from the Registry stating that his driver’s license would be revoked due to ignition interlock violations. He was scheduled to lose his license because of failed starts. The letter stated that John’s license would be indefinitely suspended due to an Ignition Interlock Violation. It notified him that he was required to install an Ignition Interlock Device on all vehicles he owns, operates or leases. The IID cannot be tampered with, circumvented and/or used to start the vehicle for the operator with anything but the restricted operator’s breath sample. The description of the offense is “Failed Startup” and the letter lists a few dates where John experienced failed startups.

John is a 46 year old professional who had dental work done and his dentist prescribed him chlorhexidine gluconate, which is a prescription anti-bacterial mouth rinse. Unfortunately, chlorhexidine gluconate contains 11.6 percent alcohol and this almost cost him his driver’s license. The Registry was prepared to impose a 10 year Ignition Interlock Violation license revocation based on the failed initial startups.

Fortunately, John retained counsel and we were able to convince the Registry Hearing Officer that the failed startup violations were the result of the mouth rinse and not alcoholic beverages. Through his lawyer, John was able to demonstrate that he had no violated the Registry’s IID requirements. The Hearing Officer immediately reinstated John’s driver’s license.

If you are facing a 10 year license revocation due to an alleged ignition interlock violation, you should retain competent counsel who has a thorough understanding of the IID and the science behind it as well as the applicable laws and regulations.

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