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January 22, 2021

Facts About Ignition Interlock Devices That You Need To Know

Drunk driving is a serious problem that has been wreaking havoc on people’s lives for some time now.

In the United States alone, drunk-driving crashes cause nearly 30 deaths every day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Over the years, authorities have been hard at work trying to curb drunk driving.

The State of Utah, for example, has lowered the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers over the age of 21 from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent.

Then there’s mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) installation, which is actually gaining some headway in the fight against drunk driving.

If you find yourself convicted of a DUI and ordered to install an IID in your vehicle, you will need to learn what you can about them. Here are facts about ignition interlock devices to help you do just that.


It’s A Breathalyzer Hardwired To Your Car Engine

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer, a tool commonly used by police officers to measure the BAC levels of suspected drunk drivers. It requires DUI offenders to provide a breath sample by blowing into the device’s mouthpiece before they can start the car.

An IID, however, does more than just get a BAC reading. As it’s hooked up to a vehicle’s engine, an ignition interlock device can stop it from starting if the driver yields a BAC at or above a low limit set by the state. The only way the driver can start the car and drive is to pass the IID breath test.

Rolling Retests Ensure Sobriety While Driving

An IID is also designed to perform what is referred to as rolling retests, which are random breath tests done to ensure that the driver remains sober while driving.

Contrary to what some people say on the Internet, a rolling retest does not automatically stop your vehicle while on the road, which is extremely dangerous.

Your IID will beep when it’s time for a rolling retest. While you can provide your breath sample while driving, it would be much safer to pull over to do the retest.

As with the initial breath test, providing a passing breath sample means you can continue driving. If the IID detects alcohol in your breath, it will make a record of it, and activate your car lights or horn to compel you to pull over and turn off the engine.

It Records and Transmits Data

As mentioned above, your ignition interlock device will record rolling retest results. Other information it may store include:

  • Startup test results
  • Skipped rolling retests
  • Attempts to remove or tamper with your IID
  • Location and car mileage
  • Attempts to continue driving after a failed rolling retest

The data will then make their way to the courts, the DMV, your parole officer, or any assigned monitoring agency for assessment.

IID Violations Carry Penalties

Whatever you do, never violate any of the rules or guidelines that cover the mandatory use of IIDs, as there are consequences for doing so.

Some judges punish IID violators by extending the IID installation period. That means it will take a while longer before you can drive without one in your car. Others simply revoke DUI offenders’ restricted licenses, essentially denying them the ability to drive at all.

It is also not unheard of for some IID violators to be subjected to hefty fines or even serve time in jail.

IIDs Have Been Around For Decades

The ignition interlock device was developed in the early 70s. It took until the mid-80s for IIDs to become part of the penalties for DUI offenses. Today, all 50 states have statutes covering the use of ignition interlock devices or IIDs for DUI offenders.

IIDs Are Working Against Drunk Driving

According to this study, mandatory interlock installation for DUI offenders was associated with a 15% drop in alcohol-related crash death rates.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study also says that IIDs reduced DUI recidivism by at least half.

There is also a compilation of studies by Mothers Against Drunk Driving that illustrates how effective ignition interlock devices have been over the years.

Ignition Interlock Installation Help

Being ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle is not a walk in the park, but we at Interlock Install are more than glad to lend a hand. Contact us for IID installation, and we’ll provide the assistance you need to make the process easier.

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