As you may be aware, recently drafted Wide Receiver, Justin Blackmon was just arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in Oklahoma this past weekend, 3 days before training camp was set to start. Blackmon the former Oklahoma State football star, drafted 5th in the recent NFL football draft, plead not guilty in court yesterday to DUI.
Blackmon’s alleged BAC was reportedly 0.24 or three times the legal limit of 0.08. Had Blackmon been arrested in North Carolina, he would be facing severe penalties under North Carolina law. In North Carolina, if a person is convicted of having a BAC of equal to or greater than 0.15, the court must find this high BAC to be an aggravating factor at sentencing.
When a defendant is found guilty of DWI in North Carolina, the judge will weigh aggravating factors versus mitigating factors to determine the defendant’s punishment. One such aggravating factor is having a BAC of 0.15. This aggravating factor will in turn mean more community service, higher fines, or even possibly jail time. In addition, the NC DMV will require that defendant to install what’s called an ignition interlock device in their car or colloquily known as the “blow and go”.
An ignition interlock device requires the driver of the car to blow into the machine to ignite or start the engine. If the device reads ANY amount of alcohol on the person’s breath, it will shut down and not allow the vehicle to start and the driver can once again try to start the car in 15 minutes. In addition, if the driver waits the 15 minute waiting period and fails again, the machine will notify the company who installed the machine and the defendant could be looking at more DMV and license consequences.
Another factor of the ignition interlock device is the cost involved. It costs $210 plus tax to install the device, this covers the installation and removal, along with the first 2 months. In addtion, there is a $67.50 per month lease fee. If the defendant is found guilty for DWI in NC with a 0.15 or greater BAC, that person would be looking at additional $885 for the ignition interlock. Also, if the defendant cannot afford the device in their car, they cannot simply wait for the 1 year suspension to run up, the NC DMV require the device to be installed as a condition of license reinstatement or restoration.
Finally, don’t think you can shop around to find a good deal on an ignition interlock device, there is ONLY one company in North Carolina that is approved by the DMV to install the device, they are called Monitech and the website is listed below.
I am unaware if Oklahoma has the same law as North Carolina, which requires a defendant to install the ignition interlock, but if so and Blackmon is found guilty, he will have to “blow and go” to training camp this summer.
For Ignition Interlock Device Installation in North Carolina, click on the website