Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

An ignition interlock device is a tool that measures breath-alcohol concentration by blowing into a mouthpiece before the vehicle will start. Judges in Wisconsin are required to order an IID for (see Wisconsin Act 100):

  • ALL repeat OWI offenders
  • ALL first time OWI offenders with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or higher
  • ALL drivers who refuse to provide a breath or blood sample for a chemical test at a traffic stop

  • IIDs are required to be installed on every vehicle owned by or registered to you, regardless of what type of vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle, moped, motor home, etc.), unless the vehicle is specifically exempted by the convicting court. Please contact the convicting court if you need an exemption.
  • Your driving privilege for the operation of Class D vehicles (car, light weight truck, moped, etc.) is restricted to vehicles that are equipped with an ignition interlock device for the duration of the order.​ 
  • IIDs must be ordered for a minimum of one year:
    • For operating privilege, the restriction begins immediately upon conviction, but the “timer” on the restriction begins when you are issued an occupational license or reinstate your operating privilege (cannot "wait out" IID restriction).
    • For vehicles, courts may order the IID restriction to begin immediately.
  • Failure to install, removal, disconnection, tampering or circumvention violations will result in a six-month extension of IID restriction.
  • Anyone subject to an IID order may not operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration  above 0.02 for the duration of the IID order.

If you choose to apply for an Occupational License from the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which allows you to drive to/from work or school, or to take care of essential household activities, then your operating privilege will be restricted to operating a vehicle equipped with an IID -- and it does not matter who owns the vehicle.

The occupational waiting period begins on the effective date of the revocation or suspension and may vary depending on previous driving history and the reason for the current revocation/suspension.

If convicted, you may choose not to drive, but you cannot simply “wait out” the clock on your IID order. You may be prosecuted for failure to comply with the IID order. When and if you choose to restore your operating privilege, the clock will start on your IID restriction on the day DMV issues you any kind of license.

IIDs are leased from and installed by an IID service provider for the duration of the restriction time period, typically a minimum of 12 months. You will enter into lease and service agreements with the vendor which include fees for installation, monthly service, and removal at the end of the IID restriction period. Other fees may be assessed by the service provider for periodic calibration, violation resets, or permanent lockout conditions.​

If you have an annual income less than 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), you may qualify to pay one-half of the regular cost of equipping (installation and removal) each motor vehicle with an IID and one-half of the cost per day per vehicle for routine fees. There are no provisions for a reduction in any other fee that may be assessed by an ignition interlock provider.

Contact the Clerk of Courts in the county where your arrest occurred to determine what information must be provided for the court to make this declaration. It is optimal that eligibility be determined at the time of conviction, as there is no requirement for a refund if determined at a later date.

There are no provisions for exempting individuals with medical or other conditions from a mandatory ignition interlock order. Each WisDOT-approved IID incorporates an anti-circumvention sampling technique which reduces the likelihood of successfully starting a vehicle using anything other than human breath.

If you have a medical condition that makes providing breath samples difficult, you have three options:  

  • Practice starting the vehicle while parked in a driveway or vacant parking lot. You may also seek additional training from the service center or by watching videos posted online by the vendor, YouTube or other websites.
  • If you are unable to provide an acceptable sample, you can change to a different ignition interlock device. Call your device’s customer service department for assistance. You should make arrangements to have the old device removed and the new one installed on the same day, if possible. Also, remember that you cannot legally operate a vehicle that does not have an IID, so you will need someone else to drive your vehicle to the installation appointment.
  • State law requires that all drivers meet minimum physical standards to be eligible for a driver license. If you assert that you are incapable of providing successful breath samples, you may be required to comply with the medical evaluation requirements detailed in ch. Trans 112, Wisconsin Administrative Code. This requires that you pay for a medical examination and may include behind-the-wheel testing by DMV.

​Questions:

Wisconsin DMV email service