Ignition Interlock Program Rules

1. Definitions.

For the purposes of these rules, the following definitions apply:

(a) “Alcohol set point” means the minimum alcohol concentration at which an ignition interlock device is set to lock a motor vehicle’s ignition. That level shall be 0.02 BAC.

(b) “Certified laboratory” means a laboratory which subscribes to the quality code of the International Standards Organization of the American National Standards Institute.

(c) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

(d) “Ignition Interlock Device” or “IID” means a device capable of measuring a person’s alcohol concentration and prevents a motor vehicle from being started by a person whose alcohol concentration is 0.02 or greater.

(e) “Ignition interlock restricted driver’s license” or “RDL” means an operator’s license that has been restricted to limit operation of motor vehicles by a person whose license or privilege to operate has been suspended or revoked pursuant to 23 VSA §1205(a)(2), §1205(m), §1206(a), §1208 or §1216 to motor vehicles installed with an approved ignition interlock device. A RDL may not be issued to a person under the age of 18 years. A person with a RDL may not operate a commercial motor vehicle as defined in 23 VSA §4103.

(f) “Inclusion zone” means an area encompassing 25 miles from the Vermont border.

(g) “Installer” means an individual, business or other entity identified by a manufacturer of an approved ignition interlock device as the manufacturer’s official representative in the state of Vermont for the installation, maintenance, monitoring and repair of the devices, and includes agents and employees of the manufacturer.

(h) “Motor vehicle” means only pleasure cars and trucks the operation of which does not require a commercial driver license. The term shall not include school buses.

(i) “State coordinator” means the individual designated by the manufacturer to act on behalf of or represent it in all matters regarding IID’s in Vermont.

2. Certification of manufacturers of ignition interlock devices.

(a) No ignition interlock device may be leased, sold, installed or used as part of the program outlined in 23 VSA §1213 unless the model or type of device has been approved by the Commissioner in accordance with the provisions of this rule.

(b) Application for Certification:

(1) A manufacturer may apply for certification of a device by submitting an application to the Commissioner. A separate application is required for each model or type of device for which approval is sought. A manufacturer must certify the device:

(i) Does not impede the safe operation of a vehicle.

(ii) Minimizes opportunities to bypass.

(iii) Performs accurately and reliably under all normally anticipated circumstances.

(iv) Satisfies the requirements for certification set forth in this rule.

(v) Prevents a person from starting a vehicle when the person has a prohibited alcohol concentration.

(2) An application for certification must include all of the following information:

(i) The name, address, telephone number and email address of the manufacturer of the device.

(ii) The name and model number of the device.

(iii) A statement the device meets or exceeds the minimum federal standards contained in the most recently published Model Specifications for Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration by a Notice in the Federal Register.

(iv) A certification from an officer of a laboratory or a certified laboratory technician who tested the device stating the device was tested in accordance with the federal standards and the device was found to satisfy the requirements of the Model Specifications.

(v) A certification the device is made by a manufacturer who is covered by product liability insurance.

(vi) A signed statement the manufacturer agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the state of Vermont and the Commissioner and his or her officers, employees and agents from all claims, demands and actions as a result of damage or injury to persons or property which may arise, directly or indirectly, out of any act or omission by the manufacturer relating to the installation, service, repair, use and removal of a device.

(vii) The manufacturer may submit for consideration evidence of certification obtained in any other jurisdiction.

(viii) The manufacturer shall agree that any installation or service of an IID performed within the state of Vermont or the inclusion zone shall be in compliance with all requirements of this rule

(ix) The manufacturer must agree to provide an expert witness if the performance of the device is an issue in any judicial or administrative proceeding.

(x) The manufacturer shall agree to provide state-wide coverage for installation and service of ignition interlock devices.

(c) The representations made by a manufacturer on the application for certification become conditions to the certification when the certification is approved by the Commissioner. The failure of a manufacturer to comply with those conditions may result in the suspension or revocation of the certification as provided by subsection (e) of this section.

(d) The Commissioner shall certify, or refuse to certify, a device after receipt of a complete application. The manufacturer will be notified within 15 days of receipt of the application if the application is incomplete. The manufacturer will be told what information or documents are needed to complete the application.

(e) The Commissioner may deny, suspend or revoke certification of a manufacturer or device for any of the following:

(1) Defects in design, materials, or workmanship causing repeated failures of a device to function as intended.

(2) Termination or cancellation of a manufacturer’s liability insurance.

(3) The manufacturer ceases to manufacture ignition interlock devices.

(4) Voluntary request by a manufacturer to cancel approval of a device.

(5) Violation by a manufacturer, vendor, installer, service provider or agent, employee or independent contractor of any provisions of this rule or conditions to the certification.

(6) Providing materially false or inaccurate information relating to a device’s performance standards by the manufacturer or certifying laboratory.

(7) Modification or alteration of the components, design, or installation and operation instructions so that the requirements of the minimum federal standards are no longer satisfied, unless the modifications have already been certified.

(f) A suspension or revocation is effective 15 days after notification is sent to the manufacturer by regular mail or such later date as may be specified in the notice. The notice must specify the basis for the action.

(g) A manufacturer whose application for certification is denied or whose certification is suspended or revoked may request an administrative hearing. The hearing will be held pursuant to 23 VSA §§105 – 106. The issue at the hearing is whether, by a preponderance of the evidence, the manufacturer can show cause why the decision of the Commissioner should not be upheld.

(h) Within 90 days of the event of suspension or revocation of certification, the manufacturer is responsible for and must bear the cost for the removal of any and all decertified devices and the replacement with a certified device whether their own or another certified manufacturer’s device.

(i) A manufacturer must notify the Commissioner immediately, in writing, of any material modification or alteration in the components, design or installation and operating instructions of any device approved for use in this state, and must provide the Commissioner satisfactory proof (to include retesting by an independent laboratory, if required) prior to sale or distribution of the altered or modified device that these modifications or alterations do not adversely affect the ability of the device to satisfy the requirements of the minimum federal standards contained in the most recently published Model Specifications for Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Any device with a material modification or alteration must be re-approved by the Commissioner.

3. Standards and Specifications for Ignition Interlock Devices.

(a) Except as otherwise provided herein, all ignition interlock devices must meet or exceed the most recently published standards established by the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, identified as “Model Specifications for Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices” (Federal Register / Vol. 57, No. 67 / Tuesday, April 7, 1992 / Notices / NHTSA Docket No. 91-07, Notice 2, pp. 11772 – 11786). The device must employ an electrochemical (fuel cell) sensing method of detecting the presence of alcohol.

(b) A device must indicate by audible or visual means when a sufficient breath sample has been collected and indicate the result by a pass/fail signal. A device must be able to be adjusted to permit operation with as little as 1.0 liter of breath per blow if required to obtain a sufficient sample.

(c) A device must prevent a driver from starting the vehicle when a breath test detects a BAC of 0.02 or greater and when a driver fails to appear for service within the five day warning period.

(d) A random retest feature is required for all devices. The device must require the driver to submit to a random retest within a variable interval ranging from five to fifteen minutes after a driver has passed an initial breath test and started the vehicle. An audible or visual warning must alert the driver of the retest and the driver will have ten minutes to take the random retest. If the driver fails to submit to the retest within ten minutes or the device detects a BAC of 0.02 or greater, the horn will sound repeatedly and the headlights shall flash until the vehicle is turned off. Once the vehicle is turned off, the device must not allow the driver to restart the vehicle within three minutes without taking an initial breath test. If the vehicle is turned off or accidentally stalls after or during the warning of an impending random retest, but before the driver takes the random retest, the device must prevent the driver from starting the vehicle without taking an initial breath test.

(e) A device must be programmed to allow a maximum of three attempts to provide a breath sample on a retest within a ten minute period. The device shall enter a temporary lockout for a period of 30 minutes if the user fails to provide a sample within the 10-minute period or fails a retest.

(f) A device must record data in its memory in such a manner that data cannot be erased and a hard copy can be printed. The data recorder must have a backup system to protect the security of all recorded data in the event the power supply to the device is interrupted or the sample head is disengaged or disconnected. The ability to transfer the unaltered data electronically must be included. The following information must be stored in the data recorder:

(1) The date and time of any use or attempted use of a vehicle.

(2) The date and time of any attempt to tamper, circumvent or bypass the device.

(3) The date, time and alcohol concentration, in grams per 210 liters, of each breath sample provided to the device.

(4) The date and time of any malfunctions of the device.

(5) The date and time of any failures to provide retest samples.

(6) The date and time a “service required” message is issued to the customer by the device.

(g) A device must provide all of the following information to a driver.

(1) The device’s readiness for acceptance of a breath sample.

(2) A reminder seven days prior to a scheduled service date followed by a warning to obtain service within five days after the scheduled service date.

(h) A device must place the vehicle in a permanent lockout state, if any of the following conditions occur:

(1) The device detects tampering, circumvention or bypass attempts.

(2) The user fails to provide a breath sample during three consecutive retest periods.

(3) A scheduled service date is missed and the five day grace period has expired.

(4) Service is not obtained within five days of the service warning.

(i) A manufacturer shall ensure that a device has adequate electronic anti-tampering features which include the following:

(1) A device must retain its tamper detection capabilities when disconnected from the vehicle’s power supply, or record that it was disconnected.

(2) A device must retain its data memory when disconnected from the vehicle’s power supply.

(3) When a device detects a condition that would be considered tampering, the device must activate a visual and audible indicator.

(4) A device must include a camera with the capability of capturing and retaining an image of the person providing the breath sample at each vehicle start and random retest. Such images shall be included in the reports required in Section 6 of these rules. A person may not cover the camera or otherwise attempt to prevent an image of his or her face from being captured while providing breath samples for vehicle starts or retests.

(j) Override. A device shall be programmed to allow test free restarts in the case of engine stalls.

4. Manufacturer Responsibilities.

(a) A manufacturer must provide the following information to the Commissioner:

(1) A copy of the agreement between the manufacturer and installer.

(2) A copy of the standard agreement between the installer/manufacturer and the driver of the vehicle in which the device is installed

(3) The toll free telephone number which the manufacturer provides the public to contact authorized installers.

(4) The fee schedule listing the costs assessed to a driver for installation of the device, monthly leasing of the device, scheduled service visit, violations service visit, and removal of the device.

(5) The name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the state coordinator.

(6) A detailed description, including a photograph, drawing or other graphic depiction of the device.

(7) Document containing complete written instructions provided to authorized installers for installation, operation, service, repair and removal of the device.

(8) Document containing the complete written instructions provided to participants and other operators of a vehicle equipped with the device.

(9) A complete list of authorized installers (including name, business address, phone number, contact person and hours of operation.

(b) A manufacturer must ensure installers:

(1) Meet the conditions established in §4, §5, §6 and §7.

(2) Possess and maintain all necessary training and skills required to install, examine, troubleshoot, and verify proper operation of devices.

(3) Possess the tools, test equipment and manuals needed to install, inspect, download, calibrate, repair, maintain, service and remove devices.

(4) Provide the restricted driver and all persons who will use the vehicle with written and hands on training in how to operate a vehicle equipped with the device, including

(i) Care, cleaning and maintenance

(ii) Identification of vehicle malfunctions and repairs affecting the device and procedures for addressing them.

(iii) A 24-hour emergency telephone number for assistance in the event a device fails to operate properly or a vehicle experiences a problem relating to the installation, operation or failure of a device. Assistance must include technical information, tow or road service. Emergency assistance related to the failure of a device must be provided within two hours for vehicles located near an area with an installation facility. The device must be made functional within 48 hours of the call for assistance being received or the device must be replaced.

(iv) Informing the restricted driver that he or she is accountable for all breath samples logged by the device.

(5) Maintain established business hours with an installer available during those hours.

(6) Conduct business from an enclosed building with a separate waiting area for customers. If installation is done by a mobile unit, the customer must have a separate, enclosed waiting area available. The business premises and mobile units are subject to announced and unannounced inspection by the Commissioner or his or her agents.

(7) Do not employ as installers persons who have been convicted of an alcohol related traffic offense or any offense classified as a felony, within the previous five years. A person employed as an installer must be at least eighteen years of age.

(8) Persons employed as installers are subject to the approval of the Commissioner.

5. Installation, Monitoring, Servicing and Removal of Ignition Interlock Devices.

(a) Installation:

(1) An installer must provide proof of installation, including the information required in Section 6(a)(2), to the Commissioner electronically within 24 hours of the installation.

(2) Only installers, manufacturers and representatives of the Commissioner may observe the installation and removal of devices. Reasonable security measures must be taken to prevent access by unauthorized persons to devices, the written materials and hardware and software associated with the devices.

(3) An installer shall examine each vehicle before installing the device. The examination must include screening procedures to ensure the vehicle in which the device is to be installed is in a mechanical and electrical condition that will allow the device to meet the specifications contained in these rules. Conditions that the manufacturer has determined would prevent the device from meeting the specifications must be repaired before the device is installed. The person seeking installation is responsible for the costs of any repairs to the vehicle.

(4) The device’s camera must be mounted on the passenger side of the vehicle in such a manner as to capture the front compartment of the vehicle. The camera shall capture an image of both the driver and the front passenger.

(5) After a device is installed, the vehicle and device must be inspected to ensure that the installation was performed properly, the device is working as required and the device does not interfere with the normal operation of the vehicle.

(6) An installer must certify that a device has been installed. The certification shall be made on a form prescribed by the Commissioner.

(7) A warning label, approved by the Commissioner, must be affixed to installed devices. The warning label must contain the following information: “WARNING”- A person removing, tampering with, disconnecting or otherwise circumventing this device may be subject to civil penalties. 23 VSA §1213(k).

(b) Monitoring and Servicing:

(1) An installer must follow the requirements established by this rule and the manufacturer’s specifications for service monitoring, service and repair.

(2) A device must be scheduled for service 30 days after initial installation and thereafter at intervals not to exceed 37 days.

(3) Service must be provided within three business days after the request for service is made.

(4) Each time a device is serviced, the installer must:

(i) Review the data recorded in the device’s memory and retain a copy in the person’s file.

(ii) Inspect the device for indications of tampering.

(iii) Calibrate the device.

(5) For those manufacturers who perform “swap outs” at every scheduled service visit, i.e. remove the currently installed device and replace it with a new device, the installer must:

(i) Review the data recorded in the removed device’s memory and retain a copy in the person’s file.

(ii) Inspect the removed device for indications of tampering.

(c) Removal:

[The following does not apply to “swap outs” as described in Section 5(b)(5)]

(1) Only a manufacturer or installer may remove a device

(2) An installer or manufacturer must notify the Commissioner electronically within 24 hours of the removal of a device stating the specific reasons for removal.

(3) Whenever a device is removed, the vehicle must be restored to its original condition. All severed wires must be securely reconnected and insulated with heat shrink tubing or its equivalent.

6. Reports and Records.

(a) Violations Reports:

(1) A manufacturer or installer must electronically notify the Commissioner and Vermont Department of Corrections within 24 hours of discovering reliable information showing:

(i) Evidence of circumventing, removing, or tampering with a device.

(ii) A registered 0.02 or greater BAC during a rolling retest.

(iii) A failure to submit to a retest that results in a permanent lock out condition.

(iv) A missed service visit.

(2) The report must include the following information:

(i) Name and affiliation (manufacturer and installer) of the person submitting the report.

(ii) Reason and basis for the report.

(iii) Driver’s full name, date of birth, driver license number and address.

(iv) Registration plate number and the vehicle identification number of the vehicle in which the device is installed.

(b) Driver Monitoring Reports:

(1) A manufacturer or installer must electronically notify the Commissioner within 24 hours of the servicing of a device.

(2) The report must include the information required by subdivision (a)(2) of this section and the results of the service, including a summary of the information provided by the device’s data recorder.

(c) Six Month Status Reports:

(1) An installer must electronically provide encrypted data to the manufacturer once every six months. For each device installed on vehicles to be operated within the state of Vermont, a manufacturer must electronically provide the Commissioner a status report once every six months.

(2) The report must provide the following:

(i) Information required by §6(a)(2)(i) and (ii).

(ii) Standard prices established for installation, calibration, removal, device rental, reinstallation and any other standard charges.

(iii) Non-standard charges assessed to any driver, listing the driver’s contact information as provided in §6(a)(2)(iii) and the amount and reason for the charge.

(iv) Number of requests for financial assistance.

(v) List of persons, including the information required by §6(a)(2)(iii) and (iv) who had a device installed or removed from a vehicle.

(vi) Number of devices installed and number of devices that malfunctioned or were defective requiring service, repair or replacement. The serial numbers and the specific problem identified for malfunctioning and defective devices must be included in the report.

(vii) Number of service visits that resulted in a charge to a driver, including the information required by §6(a)(2)(iii), amount of the charge and the reason for the charge.

(viii) Number and a summary of all complaints received and the corrective action, if any, taken by the manufacturer or installer for each model or type of device.

(ix) The date any service is performed.

(x) The mileage and hours of operation of the vehicle since the previous service was performed.

(d) A manufacturer or installer must keep all records relating to the application for approval of a device and all records relating to the installation, service, removal, performance and use of individual devices for a period of three years following the removal of any device.

7. Audit and Inspection of Records and Facilities.

The Commissioner or his or her agents may audit and inspect the facilities and records of a manufacturer and installer to verify compliance with the requirements of this rule. Manufacturers and installers must make facilities and records available to the Commissioner or his or her agents during reasonable business hours.

8. Application for Ignition Interlock Restricted License.

(a) A person eligible under 23 VSA §1205(a)(2), §205(m), §1206(a), §1208 or §1216 may apply for an ignition interlock restricted driver’s license. The application, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner, signed and sworn to by the applicant shall be accompanied by the person’s unexpired Vermont operator’s license; satisfactory proof of installation of an approved ignition interlock device in any motor vehicle to be operated by the applicant; proof of financial responsibility; and, proof of enrollment in an alcohol and driving education program.

(b) A person to whom a RDL has been issued, shall be responsible for all breath tests performed in his or her vehicle.

(c) A person whose license has been suspended pursuant to 23 VSA §1201(a)(3) may not be issued a RDL.

(d) When a Vermont operator’s license is received by the Department of Motor Vehicles in connection with an application for an ignition interlock restricted driver’s license, it will be immediately destroyed upon receipt by the Department.

(e) An ignition interlock restricted driver’s license shall be considered to be a corrected license within the meaning of 23 VSA §613(a).

(f) A person who has been issued a license restricted to operation of a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device by another jurisdiction, and who is otherwise eligible for the issuance of a Vermont license, may be issued a RDL, but not a junior operator’s license, in accordance with this rule.

(g) Once a person applying for a RDL pursuant to 23 VSA §1213(e) has met the requirements of that section, an examination as required by 23 VSA §632 shall be administered. A road test may be conducted without the individual having to obtain a learner permit.

(h) In the case of an initial application only, the ignition interlock RDL shall expire at midnight on the eve of the second anniversary of the date of birth of the applicant after issuance. Thereafter, an ignition interlock RDL must be renewed yearly.

(i) A person may request that the ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle be adjusted to allow a minimum breath sample of 1.0 liters of breath volume per blow. The request shall be made on a form furnished by the Commissioner and be accompanied by a certification from a licensed pulmonologist stating that the person has a lung condition that renders him or her incapable of providing a 1.5 liter sample of alveolar air. In the event that the request is granted, the manufacturer will be notified that the device may be adjusted. The manufacturer will in turn notify its installer.

(j) When providing a breath sample, the driver must be seated in the driver’s seat to ensure the device’s camera captures the image of the driver actively providing the breath sample.

(k) A person issued a restricted driver’s license pursuant to 23 VSA §1213 and this rule violates the terms and conditions of the restricted driver’s license when the person:

(1) Operates a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device.

(2) Requests or solicits another person to blow into or otherwise activate the device for the purpose of providing the restricted driver with an operable motor vehicle.

(3) Removes, tampers with, disconnects or disables the device or circumvents the operation of the device.

(4) Registers a 0.02 BAC during a rolling retest.

(5) Fails to submit to a retest that results in a permanent lock out condition.

(6) Misses a service visit.

(7) Has the device removed from the vehicle by a manufacturer, installer or unauthorized person.
Violation of any of these conditions must result in the immediate recall of the person’s license for the time periods set out in 23 VSA §1213(h) and (i). Upon expiration of any recall period, a person whose RDL has been recalled pursuant to this section may reapply for a RDL in the same manner as the original application.

9. Right to Hearing.

(a) A person whose application for an ignition interlock RDL is denied may request a hearing. The hearing will be held pursuant to 23 VSA §105 - §107. The issue at hearing is whether, by a preponderance of the evidence, the person can show cause why the decision of the Commissioner should not be upheld

(b) A person who has been convicted or adjudicated of an offense described in 23 VSA §1213(h) or (i) resulting in the recall of his or her RDL, may request an administrative hearing for the sole purpose of verifying the record of adjudication or conviction.


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