Ignition Interlock Laws in Connecticut: Key Regulations and Changes

Ignition interlock laws in Connecticut are a crucial aspect of the state’s efforts to combat drunk driving and improve road safety. These laws require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in the vehicles of certain individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). The IID is a mechanism designed to prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds a predetermined limit. This technology has proven to be an effective tool in reducing alcohol-impaired driving and the resulting tragedies, while also allowing offenders to maintain their mobility and employment.

In Connecticut, ignition interlock laws mandate the device’s installation for all DUI offenders, regardless of whether it is their first or subsequent offense. The duration of the requirement may vary depending on the severity of the offense and the individual’s prior DUI history. These laws not only serve as a deterrent for potential offenders but also provide a proven method to ensure that those convicted of DUI are not putting others at risk while operating a motor vehicle.

The state’s stringent approach to implementing ignition interlock laws comes as part of a broader set of strategies aimed at reducing the prevalence of alcohol-impaired driving. In combination with public awareness campaigns, DUI checkpoints, and other prevention measures, ignition interlock devices are proving to be an essential component in maintaining road safety and potentially saving lives in Connecticut.

Ignition Interlock Device Overview

How It Works

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a small breathalyzer-like apparatus installed in a vehicle to prevent drunk driving. The driver must blow into the device before starting the car, and if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the pre-programmed limit, the vehicle will not start. Additionally, the IID may require random re-tests while driving to ensure continued sobriety.


The primary purpose of ignition interlock devices is to prevent alcohol-impaired driving and, consequently, save lives on the road. Study of IIDs has shown them to be effective in reducing alcohol-involved crashes while installed in the vehicle. In Connecticut, IIDs are required for individuals convicted of DUIs as well as certain other alcohol-related offenses. The device mandates behavioral change, ensuring the driver remains sober while operating the vehicle.


IIDs provide several benefits to drivers, the community, and the legal system:

  • Road safety: By preventing drunk driving, IIDs significantly improve the safety of roads for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians.

  • Rehabilitation: IIDs help DUI offenders develop responsible driving habits by requiring them to remain sober when behind the wheel. The devices can contribute to a change in behavior, discouraging repeat offenses.

  • Limited disruption: Instead of completely revoking the offender’s driving privileges, IIDs can be an effective alternative, allowing the person to maintain their employment, attend counseling, and meet any other obligations.

The Connecticut IID law requires DUI offenders to install the devices and pay a $100 fee. While the upfront cost may seem daunting, the long-term benefits of increased road safety and rehabilitation outweigh the expense. In sum, ignition interlock devices serve as a valuable tool in the fight against drunk driving in Connecticut.

Connecticut Ignition Interlock Laws

Eligibility and Requirements

In Connecticut, ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are mandatory for all individuals convicted of a DUI, including first-time offenders. To be eligible for an IID, an individual must have served their license suspension period determined by the severity of their offense. They must then apply for an IID at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and provide proof of IID installation from an approved vendor.

IIDs installed in the vehicles of DUI offenders must meet the state’s requirements and be inspected regularly. The duration of IID installation depends on the number of offenses and their severity.

Offenses and Penalties

The consequences of driving under the influence (DUI) in Connecticut vary based on the number of offenses an individual has committed. The penalties for each offense are as follows:

  • First offense: A fine ranging from $500 to $1,000, imprisonment for up to six months, and a 45-day license suspension followed by one year of IID installation.

  • Second offense: A fine ranging from $1,000 to $4,000, imprisonment for up to two years (with a mandatory minimum of 120 days), a license suspension for 45 days, and three years of IID installation.

  • Third and subsequent offenses: A fine ranging from $2,000 to $8,000, imprisonment for up to three years (with a mandatory minimum of one year), a license suspension for an indefinite period, and lifetime IID installation with eligibility for review after 15 years.

Failure to comply with IID requirements can lead to additional penalties, including extended IID installation periods and further license suspensions.

Installation and Costs

Approved Providers

In Connecticut, ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are a requirement for individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). The installation process begins with choosing an approved provider to supply and install the device. These providers must meet specific guidelines and regulations set by the state.

Once an offender chooses a provider, they need to set up an appointment for device installation. During this process, the provider will explain how to properly use the IID and conduct training on device maintenance. Regular inspections, typically every 30 to 60 days, are required to ensure the device is functioning correctly.

The costs associated with IIDs in Connecticut include installation fees, which are usually around $100, and monthly monitoring fees that generally range from $70 to $100. There may also be additional fees for service or violation resets. Keep in mind that these costs vary by provider.

Financial Assistance

Connecticut acknowledges that the costs associated with installing and maintaining an IID may be burdensome for some offenders. To ease this financial burden, financial assistance is available to those who qualify. Eligibility for assistance is determined by factors such as income and the number of dependents.

If approved, financial assistance can substantially reduce the costs associated with IIDs. Offenders who are granted financial assistance may receive a reduction in their installation and monthly monitoring fees. However, it is important to note that financial assistance does not eliminate all costs related to IIDs; offenders will still be responsible for a portion of the fees and any additional expenses.

By following the state-approved process and utilizing available resources, offenders in Connecticut can more effectively navigate the installation and costs associated with ignition interlock devices.

Monitoring and Removal

Compliance Monitoring

In Connecticut, ignition interlock devices (IID) are required for offenders convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). The IIDs are designed to prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver’s breath alcohol concentration is above a preset limit. Compliance monitoring is an essential aspect of ignition interlock programs in the state.

First-time offenders are required to install the IID for a period of one year, while repeat offenders face longer installation periods. Offenders are responsible for the costs of installation, monitoring, and removal of the device. Compliance monitoring ensures that the devices are properly installed and functioning, and that offenders are adhering to their required IID usage.

Connecticut requires regular device calibration and data downloads by an approved vendor or service provider, with the data then sent to state authorities to verify compliance. This monitoring process helps to identify and address potential issues such as device tampering or attempts to bypass the interlock.

Process for Removal

Once the mandated IID installation period is complete and the offender has demonstrated compliance with the ignition interlock program requirements, they become eligible for device removal. In Connecticut, offenders are required to pay a $100 fee for the removal process.

To initiate the removal process, the offender must obtain a removal authorization form from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This form certifies that the offender has met all the conditions necessary for IID removal.

Once the form has been obtained, the offender must take it to the approved vendor or service provider for device removal. The vendor will then remove the IID from the vehicle, and the offender must notify the DMV that the device has been removed. Upon successful completion of this process, the offender’s restrictions will be lifted, and their full driving privileges will be restored.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the penalties for ignition interlock device violations in CT?

In Connecticut, penalties for violating ignition interlock device requirements can be severe. A first-time offender may face a fine of up to $500 and the suspension of their driver’s license for an additional 30 days. Repeat offenders may face stiffer fines, longer suspensions, or even imprisonment.

How long is the mandatory interlock device period for drivers under 21?

For drivers under 21 years old in Connecticut, the mandatory ignition interlock device period varies depending on the severity of the offense. For a first-time DUI offense, the interlock device must be installed for a minimum of one year. For a second offense, the mandatory period is extended to two years.

What is the process for interlock removal by the CT DMV?

To remove an ignition interlock device in Connecticut, drivers must complete their mandatory period, provide proof of their Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) monitoring, and not have any additional citations or violations during the required time. Once these conditions are met, the driver can contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to begin the removal process.

Which vendors are approved for ignition interlock devices in Connecticut?

Connecticut ignition interlock devices must be installed by authorized and state-approved vendors. A list of approved vendors can be found on the CT DMV website.

What are the costs associated with an ignition interlock device in CT?

The costs associated with an ignition interlock device in Connecticut can vary depending on the vendor. However, drivers can typically expect to pay for installation, monthly monitoring, and any required maintenance. Costs may range from $50 to $150 for installation and $50 to $100 for monthly monitoring.

What is the blood alcohol concentration limit for the intoxalock device in CT?

In Connecticut, the legal blood alcohol concentration limit for driving with an ignition interlock device installed is set at 0.02%. This is lower than the standard 0.08% limit for drivers without the device, emphasizing the importance of not driving under the influence while using an interlock device.

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