Recently an issue regarding the Ignition Interlock Device and the rental of vehicles was asked in my office. The issue in Wisconsin is whether or not individuals who are subject to the requirements of an Ignition Interlock Device are able to rent vehicles without the device, or is any vehicle they operate subject to the Ignition Interlock Device?
Unfortunately, the Wis. Stat. §343.301 requirement of the Ignition Interlock Devices is license specific. In fact, the Court is required to order that the person’s operating privileges be restricted only to operating vehicles with the Ignition Interlock Device installed. The Court must also order that any vehicle for which a person’s name appears on the certificates of title or registration be equipped with the Ignition Interlock Device. Thus, even if a person is renting vehicles, the statute requires that those vehicles have the Ignition Interlock devices installed.
English: United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., USA. Front facade. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Supreme Court recently decided McNeely v. Missouri in favor of the defense. At first glance, it looks like a significant victory for those of us who practice drunk driving defense. However, upon a deeper review, it simply opens the door for prosecutors and courts to manipulate the system to effectuate what McNeely requires. I foresee that the government will now either expedite the warrant process in such a way that it will be a revolving door in terms of OWI arrest warrants, or, the .government will make it so difficult to obtain a warrant that court’s will find the exigency existed because of the time it would have actually taken to obtain the warrant.
It might also mean the end to blood testing. Officers could simply refuse to request blood tests. It is quite possible that police departments, at least in Wisconsin, will make breath testing their primary test. Thus, while McNeely is a blow to the government, the question remains how big of a blow is it? It will be interesting to see if states like Wisconsin ignore it, or find creative ways to avoid it.