While the exact term, rules, and regulations may differ depending on one’s location or the authority that ordered the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, an interlock restricted license is a license that permits a driver to drive a vehicle if and only if the vehicle is equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID).
An interlock restricted license is not the same as a suspended license. (For more details on the differences between a restricted license and a suspended license, click here for Smart Start’s “What is the Difference Between a Suspended License and a Restricted License?”) An interlock restricted license allows you to drive a vehicle that is equipped with an Ignition Interlock Device—sometimes also known as a “car breathalyzer,” a “blow and go,” a “BAIID,” or an “IID”—for the duration specified by the court, judge, or monitoring authority. The period during which you have an interlock restricted license is often called the “restricted driving period.” The length of your restricted driving period may differ from state to state. It may also be extended depending on the number of violations you incur while using the Ignition Interlock Device. (Different states define violations differently, but violations are commonly caused by taking a test with a high breath alcohol content, skipping a test, or failing to service your Ignition Interlock Device on time.)
Your state may require you to have an Ignition Interlock Device in order to get your interlock restricted license, or it may require you to apply for the interlock restricted license before you’re eligible to install the Ignition Interlock Device. To determine how your state requires that you proceed, visit Smart Start’s page for your state, or contact your monitoring authority or attorney. Usually the consequence of a DUI, DWI, or OWI, an interlock restricted license requires you to drive with an Ignition Interlock Device for the entirety of your restricted driving program. Once you have completed your restricted driving program, you may be able to regain your unrestricted driver’s license. The details of each program differ by location and ordering authority.