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If you’re convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in New Hampshire, the court can require you to have an ignition interlock device installed on your car or truck. Courts typically require ignition interlock devices for drivers who have already been convicted of DWI at least once. First-time DWI convictions rarely require an ignition interlock device, unless the driver had a particularly high blood alcohol content, or BAC, when he or she was arrested.

A New Hampshire ignition interlock device consists of a breath analyzer attached to your car’s ignition. You must provide a breath sample each time you want to start the car. If the analyzer detects a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher, it will “lock down” the ignition, preventing you from starting the car.

In addition to controlling when you can start the car, an ignition interlock device also keeps track of information. For instance, the device will make a record any time you try to start the car, what your BAC was when you tried, and whenever you provide another breath sample for testing while driving. Although the device can record for up to 90 days, you will usually be expected to report to have the information downloaded at least once a month.

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