2021 Code of Alabama
Title 32 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic.
Chapter 5A - Rules of the Road.
Article 9 - Serious Traffic Offenses.
Section 32-5A-191.4 - Ignition Interlock Devices.
Ignition interlock devices.
(a) As used in Section 32-5A-191, the term, "ignition interlock device" means a constant monitoring device that prevents a motor vehicle from being started at any time without first determining the equivalent blood alcohol level of the operator through the taking of a breath sample for testing. The system shall be calibrated so that the motor vehicle may not be started if the blood alcohol level of the operator, as measured by the test, reaches a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.02.
(b) The ignition interlock device shall be installed, calibrated, and monitored directly by trained technicians who shall train the offender for whom the device is being installed in the proper use of the device. The use of a mail in or remote calibration system where the technician is not in the immediate proximity of the vehicle being calibrated is prohibited. The Department of Forensic Sciences shall promulgate rules for punishment and appeal for ignition interlock providers relating to violation of this subsection.
(c) The department shall formulate and promulgate rules for the proper approval, installation, and use of ignition interlock devices. Additionally, the department shall maintain and make public the list of approved ignition interlock devices.
(d) The department may adopt in whole or relevant part the guidelines, rules, regulations, studies, or independent laboratory tests performed or relied upon by other states, their agencies, or commissions.
(e) The department shall promulgate rules regulating approved ignition interlock providers related to areas of consumer coverage. The rules shall address areas of consumer coverage and shall provide for a two-year period from July 1, 2014, to allow provider compliance.
(f) The department shall charge an application fee of two thousand dollars ($2,000) to any ignition interlock provider to evaluate the instrument. Any ignition interlock provider whose ignition interlock device is approved by the department shall be permitted to install and calibrate its approved device in Alabama. Each year during the month of April, the department may receive applications and instruments to review for approval.
(g) The Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency shall be responsible for enforcing the rules promulgated by the department related to ignition interlock devices and providers. The agency shall promulgate rules regulating the inspection and enforcement of approved ignition interlock providers and any associate service locations.
(h) In the absence of negligence, wantonness, or willful misconduct, no person or employer or agent of a person who installs an ignition interlock device pursuant to Section 32-5A-191 shall be liable for any occurrence related to the device, including, but not limited to, occurrences resulting from or related to a malfunction of the device or use of, misuse of, or failure to use the device or the vehicle in which the device was installed.
(i)(1) When the court imposes the use of an ignition interlock device as required by Section 32-5A-191, the court shall require that the person provide proof of installation of a device to the court or a probation officer within 30 days of the date the defendant becomes eligible to receive an ignition interlock-restricted license from the agency. If the person fails to provide proof of installation within that period, absent a finding by the court of good cause for that failure which is entered into the court record, the court may revoke the person's probation where applicable after a petition to revoke probation has been filed and the defendant has been given notice and an opportunity to be heard on the petition. The court in which the defendant is convicted shall notify the agency that the defendant is restricted to the operation of a motor vehicle only when an approved ignition interlock device is installed and properly operating. Nothing in this subsection shall permit a person who does not own a vehicle or otherwise have an ignition interlock device installed on a motor vehicle to operate a motor vehicle without an approved ignition interlock device installed and properly operating.
(2) Proof of installation for the purpose of this subsection may be furnished by either a certificate of installation or a copy of the lease agreement in the name of the offender for the designated vehicle with an approved ignition interlock device company.
(3) A defendant who is determined by the court to be indigent for the purpose of ignition interlock may have an ignition interlock device installed by an ignition interlock provider as provided in this subsection. Criteria for determining indigency for the purpose of ignition interlock shall be the same criteria as set forth in Section 15-12-5(b) and (c) after the report is complete. The defendant shall execute an affidavit of substantial hardship on a form approved by the Supreme Court. The completed affidavit of substantial hardship and the subsequent order of the court either denying or granting indigency status for the purpose of ignition interlock to the offender shall become a part of the official court record in the case and shall be submitted by the offender to the interlock provider.
(4) Any offender granted indigency status for the purpose of ignition interlock shall not be required to pay the costs associated with installing and maintaining an interlock device nor required to pay any interlock fees charged to a defendant who does not own a vehicle or otherwise have an ignition interlock device installed on a vehicle pursuant to subdivision (6) for the period of any sentence for ignition interlock. The defendant shall pay any fees for any violation of ignition interlock requirements and for any optional services elected by the defendant and for any missing or damaged equipment. This section shall not affect any fees associated with the driver's license of the defendant.
(5)a. The agency shall require each approved manufacturer to provide a minimum number of indigent defendants with ignition interlock services, including installation, lease, calibration, and removal, at no cost to the indigent defendant. The minimum number of indigent defendants provided services shall be equal to five percent of the total installations provided by the manufacturer during the prior calendar year.
b. The agency shall oversee the administration of indigent services on an annual basis by doing all of the following:
1. Verifying the total number of installations provided by the manufacturer each year.
2. Verifying the number of installations for indigent defendants provided each year by each manufacturer.
3. Conducting random audits of payments based on the list of indigent defendants serviced by each manufacturer.
c. Each manufacturer who fails to meet the five percent threshold for indigent defendants shall be subject to a civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500) for each indigent defendant the manufacturer failed to provide services below the five percent threshold. All fines shall be collected by the agency and deposited in the Alabama Ignition Interlock Indigent Fund.
d. The Alabama Ignition Interlock Indigent Fund is created in the State Treasury. The fund shall be administered by the agency. Except as provided in paragraph e., all of the money in the fund shall be used to reimburse ignition interlock device providers who have installed devices in vehicles of indigent persons pursuant to court orders issued under this section. No provider shall be reimbursed for an interlock device installed without the completed affidavit of substantial hardship and the subsequent order of the court granting indigency status. Payments to interlock device providers pursuant to this subdivision shall be made every three months. If the amount of money in the fund at the time payments are made is not sufficient to pay all requests for reimbursement submitted during that three-month period, the Comptroller shall make payments on a pro rata basis and those payments shall be considered payment in full for the requests submitted. At the end of each fiscal year, all monies above five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) remaining in the Alabama Ignition Interlock Indigent Fund shall be divided as follows:
1. Thirty percent to the Highway Traffic Safety Fund administered by the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency.
2. Twenty percent to the Alabama Chemical Testing Training and Equipment Trust Fund administered by the Department of Forensic Sciences.
3. Thirty percent to the District Attorney's Solicitor's Fund.
4. Twenty percent to the Office of Prosecution Services.
e. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph d., 10 percent of the first five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) collected in the fund each year may be used by the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency for any of the following additional purposes on an annual basis:
1. Annual reporting and assessment of manufacturer compliance with indigent service requirements.
2. Notice and collection of any fines for noncompliance.
3. Annual inspection of interlock service centers by the agency.
(6) Any defendant who does not own a vehicle or otherwise have an ignition interlock device installed on a vehicle shall be required to pay seventy-five dollars ($75) per month for the entire period the defendant is required or elects to have an ignition interlock device unless the defendant is determined by the court to be indigent as provided for in subdivision (3) . The defendant shall still serve all license suspension or revocation, or both, during this period. Any monies paid pursuant to this subdivision shall be paid to the court clerk and shall be deposited in the Alabama Impaired Driving Prevention and Enforcement Fund in the State Treasury to be used by the Alabama State Law Enforcement Agency for impaired driving education and enforcement.
(j) No person who is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle unless it is equipped with an ignition interlock device as provided in Section 32-5A-191 shall knowingly:
(1) Operate, lease, or borrow a motor vehicle unless that vehicle is equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device.
(2) Request or solicit any other person to blow into an ignition interlock device or to start a motor vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of providing the person so restricted with an operable motor vehicle.
(k)(1) Any person who operates a motor vehicle in violation of subsection (j) shall be immediately removed from the vehicle and taken into custody. The vehicle, regardless of ownership or possessory interest of the operator or person present in the vehicle, except when the owner of the vehicle or another family member of the owner is present in the vehicle and presents a valid driver's license, shall be impounded by any duly sworn law enforcement officer pursuant to Section 32-6-19(c). If there is an emergency or medical necessity jeopardizing life or limb, the law enforcement officer may elect not to impound the vehicle.
(2) A violation of subsection (j) on the first offense is a Class A misdemeanor. In addition, the time the defendant is required to use an ignition interlock device shall be extended by six months. Upon second conviction of a violation of subsection (j), the sentence shall include a mandatory sentence, which is not subject to suspension or probation, of imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for not less than 48 hours and the time the defendant is required to use an ignition interlock device shall be extended by six months. Upon a third or subsequent conviction of a violation of subsection (j), the sentence shall include a mandatory sentence, which is not subject to suspension or probation, of imprisonment in the county or municipal jail for not less than five days and the time the defendant shall be required to use an ignition interlock device shall be extended by one year.
(l) No person shall blow into an ignition interlock device or start a motor vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of providing an operable motor vehicle to a person who is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device.
(m) No person shall intentionally attempt to tamper with, defeat, or circumvent the operation of an ignition interlock device.
(n) Any person convicted of a violation of this section other than subsection (j) shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both.
(Act 2011-613, p. 1363, §2; Act 2014-222, p. 712, §1; Act 2018-517, §1.)