VERMONT LAW ENFORCEMENT BULLETIN – ACT NO.126
An Act Relating to the Study and Recommendation of
Ignition Interlock Device Legislation ~ Pilot Project
For a full FAQ on Vermont’s Interlock Program, Click Here.
This act authorizes issuance of ignition interlock restricted driver’s licenses effective July 1,
2011, to eligible DUI offenders and specifies the terms and conditions of operation under an
ignition interlock RDL. The Act also established a six-month pilot project, which began on
January 1, 2011 and ended on June 30, 2011.
An Ignition Interlock Device Restricted License, referred to as an “RDL”, allows an individual to
drive non-commercial vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device, while their regular
license is under suspension or revoked for an alcohol-related driving under the influence offense.
The applicant is granted a conditional reinstatement ahead of their normal eligibility date if they
participate in the Ignition Interlock Program.
The participants of the Pilot Project were a very small number of a group of individuals who
reside in Chittenden County, who were enrolled in the Department of Corrections
Intensive Substance Abuse Program (ISAP), or parolees who have completed ISAP, but who were under the supervision of the Probation and Parole office in Burlington.
We are providing you with a set of the Frequently Asked Questions which were drafted
to answer many of the questions the Pilot Project participants had. These FAQ’s should
answer many of your questions as well.
As you may already know, a breath alcohol ignition interlock device is a device designed to
minimize the opportunity of a driver operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
The device works by requiring a breath sample prior to starting a vehicle, and periodically as
the vehicle is being driven, which is referred to as, “rolling retests.” If the breath sample provided
contains an alcohol level below the acceptable threshold, the vehicle will be allowed to
operate; if the breath sample provided contains an alcohol level above the acceptable
threshold, 0.02, the vehicle will not start. Under no circumstances will the device shut the
vehicle off when it is being driven, nor should the device interfere with the safe operation of the
Only those ignition interlock devices which use fuel cell technology to measure breath alcohol
concentration are used in Vermont. During the pilot program the Vermont Parole Board made it mandatory that all participants have camera-equipped ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. This allowed for the positive identification of the individual who provided the breath samples.
Should you perform any traffic stops on vehicles, please be advised, the driver may have an
ignition interlock device. When viewing the driver’s Operator’s License (or EDL), or performing
a records check, if the driver is required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their
vehicle, the license will have a Restriction 8 indicated in the “Restriction Code” field. The
driver should also have a blue Restriction Card which should be marked “Ignition Interlock
Device”. If during a traffic stop, you find the driver has the Restriction 8 – Ignition Interlock
Device on their license, but is operating a vehicle which is not equipped with an ignition
interlock device, the driver shall be cited for Driving After License/Privilege Suspended or
As briefly mentioned above, once the vehicle is started, at random times during the operation
of the vehicle, the device will prompt the driver to provide another breath sample, a “rolling
retest”. If the breath sample is not provided, or if the breath sample is at or exceeds a BAC of
0.02, the IID will log the event as a “failure”, and will then signal the vehicle to begin flashing
the lights and sounding the horn. This will continue until the vehicle is turned off, or a clean
breath sample has been provided. Should you see a vehicle whose lights are flashing and
horn is sounding, it is an indication that you should perform a traffic stop; it is possible the
vehicle is being operated by an individual who is under the influence of alcohol.
As you are aware, this is currently a heavily publicized issue; the new legislative session will
undoubtedly bring change to the Act in its current form. If, and when, changes do occur, you
will be advised of this in additional Bulletins.