Ignition Interlock Device
Driving under the influence is a problem across the United States. There are many DUI penalties in place that focus on curbing drunk drivers: jail time, fines, license suspension and more. Ignition interlock devices are also a tool that is used to stop people from drinking and driving.
What is an ignition interlock device? It is a mechanism that is installed in a vehicle’s dashboard. It works like a Breathalyzer– you breathe into the device and it measures your Breath Alcohol Content (often referred to as BAC). If your BAC is over a certain amount, the vehicle will not start. The BAC limits at which the device will allow you to drive vary from state to state, but are commonly .02% to .04%.
Most states only order someone to get an ignition interlock device if they have had previous DUI conviction. However, you may be ordered to have the device installed after the first DUI if your BAC was over .15%, you refused to consent to a chemical alcohol test, or you caused injury while driving under the influence of alcohol.
Having the device installed is often a condition of driving again if your license was suspended as the result of a DUI conviction.
If you are ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed, you will have to pay the fees for renting the device as well as the installation. Interlock devices are ordered from private companies that are authorized to rent the mechanisms.
The installation of the device typically costs from $100-$200. The monthly rental fee can range from $70 to $100. These fees do not include the additional charges for maintenance or having the device calibrated.
It is almost impossible to get around the ignition interlock device. The device is designed to not let you start your car if you try to use a mechanical device instead of blowing into interlock system, if you have a friend take the test for you, or if you try to tamper with the interlock device in any way.
Having a sober friend blow in the device to help you start the car will only backfire in the end – the interlock devices are often programmed to make you take the test again while you are driving later.