§378.2. Ignition interlock devices; condition of probation for certain DWI offenders; restricted license
A. In addition to any other provisions of law and except as otherwise provided in Subsection I of this Section, the court may require that any person who is placed on probation as provided in R.S. 14:98(B), and the court shall require that any person who is placed on probation as provided by R.S. 14:98(C) not operate a motor vehicle during the period of probation unless the vehicle is equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device as provided in this Section.
B.(1) Any person who has had his driver's license suspended, revoked, or canceled under any of the following conditions shall, upon proof to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections that his motor vehicle has been equipped with a functioning ignition interlock device as provided in this Section, be issued a restricted driver's license:
(a)(i) Upon first or second conviction, or entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere and sentence thereupon or the forfeiture of bail, for the offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
(ii) However, if the offender had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 percent or more by weight based on grams of alcohol per one hundred cubic centimeters of blood the following restrictions shall apply:
(aa) Upon first offense, if the offender had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 percent or greater, he shall be issued a restricted driver's license during the entire period of the two-year driver's license suspension imposed under the provisions of R.S. 14:98(K)(1) and shall be required to have a functioning ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle during the first twelve-month period of the suspension.
(bb) Upon second offense, if the offender has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 percent or greater, he shall be eligible for a restricted driver's license for the period of suspension as imposed under the provisions of R.S. 14:98(K)(2)(b). The offender may be issued a restricted license during the entire four years on his suspension and shall be required to have a functioning ignition interlock device installed on his vehicle during the first three years of the four-year suspension.
(b) For the offense of driving while under suspension if the suspension was the result of a conviction, or entry of a plea of guilty or nolo contendere and sentence thereupon or the forfeiture of bail, for a first or second offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
(c) For the refusal to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his blood when arrested for a first or second offense arising out of acts alleged to have been committed while the person was driving or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while believed to be under the influence of alcoholic beverages.
(d) For submitting to a chemical test to determine the alcohol content of blood where the test results showed over 0.08 percent by weight of alcohol in the blood, or where the results showed under 0.08 percent by weight of alcohol in the blood but the person was nevertheless convicted for a first or second offense of a law or ordinance which prohibits operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
(2) The restricted license shall be designated as such by a large red "R" and shall be effective for the remaining period of suspension or as long as the functioning ignition interlock device is in place, whichever period is longer.
(3) The department shall designate in writing, and upon application of the person, amend as necessary, the routes over which and the times during which the restricted licensee shall be permitted to operate designated motor vehicles in order to earn his livelihood, which written restrictions shall be attached to the restricted license and kept with it at all times.
(4) Any person granted a restricted driver's license under the provisions of this Subsection who tampers with, circumvents the operation of, or removes the ignition interlock device during the period for which the restricted license is granted shall have his driving privileges suspended for a period of time not to exceed one year and may be punished by imprisonment of twenty days, such punishment to be in addition to other penalties provided by law for related offenses.
C. No person whose driving privilege has been restricted under a condition of probation as provided in this Section shall:
(1) Rent, 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.
D. 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 another person whose driving privilege is restricted.
E. No person shall tamper with or circumvent the operation of an ignition interlock device.
F. Any person convicted of a violation of this Section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or both.
G. If the court imposes the use of an ignition interlock device as a term of probation on a person whose driving privilege is not suspended or revoked, the court shall require the person to provide proof of compliance to the court or the probation officer within thirty days. 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 shall revoke the person's probation.
H. The person whose driving privilege is restricted pursuant to this Section shall have the system monitored by the manufacturer, at the manufacturer's expense, for proper use at least bi-monthly, and more frequently as the court may order, on the operation of each interlocking ignition device in the person's vehicles. A report of such monitoring shall be issued by the manufacturer to the court and the department within fourteen days after the system is monitored. However, the report issued to the department shall be in an electronic format specified by the department.
I. If a person is required to operate a motor vehicle in the course and scope of his employment which does not have an approved ignition interlock device, and if the vehicle is owned by the employer, the court may allow the person who is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle without such a device to operate the employer's vehicle while actually in the course and scope of employment, if the employer has been notified by the person that the person's driving privilege has been restricted and if the person has proof of that notification and evidence of court approval in his possession or the notice, or a facsimile copy thereof, is with this vehicle. The exemption provided by this Subsection shall not apply to any motor vehicle owned by a business entity which is all or partly owned or controlled by a person otherwise subject to this Subsection.
J.(1) The secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections shall certify, or cause to be certified, ignition interlock devices required by this Section, and publish a list of approved devices. All reasonable costs of certification shall be borne by the manufacturer. The manufacturer of the system shall be responsible for the installation or the training of installers, and shall educate users and service and maintain the system.
(2) The secretary shall formulate and promulgate a set of standards for the proper use of ignition interlock devices in full compliance with this Section. The standards shall include, but not be limited to, requirements that the devices or systems:
(a) Do not impede the safe operation of the vehicle.
(b) Have features that make circumventing difficult and that do not interfere with the normal use of the vehicle.
(c) Correlate well with established measures of alcohol impairment.
(d) Work accurately and reliably in an unsupervised environment.
(e) Resist tampering and give evidence if tampering is attempted.
(f) Are difficult to circumvent, and require premeditation to do so.
(g) Minimize inconvenience to a sober user.
(h) Require a proper, deep lung breath sample or other accurate measure of blood alcohol content equivalence.
(i) Operate reliably over the range of automobile environments.
(j) Are manufactured by a party who will provide product liability insurance.
K. The Department of Public Safety and Corrections may, in its discretion, and consistent with this Section, adopt in whole or relevant part, the guidelines, rules, regulations, studies, or independent laboratory tests performed on and relied upon in the certification or approval of ignition interlock devices by other states, their agencies or commissions.
L. The secretary shall design and adopt by regulation a warning label which shall be affixed to each ignition interlock device upon installation. The label shall contain a warning that any person tampering, circumventing, or otherwise misusing the device is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be subject to civil liability.
M. As used in this Section, "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 level established by the court, consistent with the rules promulgated by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
Acts 1992, No. 352, §2, Subsections A-I eff. Jan. 1, 1993, Subsections J-M eff. June 17, 1992; Acts 1995, No. 516, §1; Acts 1995, No. 695, §1; Acts 1997, No. 581, §2; Acts 1997, No. 1184, §1; Acts 2000, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 91, §§1, 2; Acts 2001, No. 781, §4, eff. Sept. 30, 2003; Acts 2003, No. 535, §3; Acts 2011, No. 192, §1.
NOTE: Section 6 of Acts 2001, No. 781, provides that the provisions of the Act shall become null and of no effect if and when Section 351 of P.L. 106-346 regarding the withholding of federal highway funds for failure to enact a 0.08 percent blood alcohol level is repealed or invalidated for any reason.