Few things can interfere with your immediate future more than operating a vehicle while impaired. After all, an OWI conviction can lead to significant legal and life penalties, such as losing your driving privileges. Eventually, though, you may be able to regain them by installing an ignition interlock device on your car, truck or SUV.
To start a vehicle with an ignition interlock device, you must have no alcohol in your system. This is because you must breathe into the device. Consequently, if you have been drinking, it may be tempting to tamper with it. Doing so, however, is a serious risk.
According to Wisconsin law, it is unlawful to disconnect, destroy or tamper with an ignition interlock device for purposes of circumventing its functionality. For this reason, each interlock device comes with a warning label that tells you not to mess with it.
If you intentionally tamper with an ignition interlock device, you are likely to face some standalone legal consequences, including both fines and possible imprisonment. You also may have to keep the device on your vehicle for longer than you initially thought.
Your specific risks probably depend on the exact facts and circumstances of your situation, however. Still, any time you are facing steep fines, the loss of your freedom and the inconvenience of additional interlock time, you must be both careful and cautious.
There may be some ways to defend yourself against allegations that you have illegally tampered with a required ignition interlock device. Ultimately, to ensure you have a full opportunity to defend yourself, it is advisable to explore all your legal options as soon as possible.