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FAQ: Ignition Interlock Devices

FAQ: Ignition Interlock Devices

Question: What is an ignition interlock device?

A: Some DUI convictions result with the person being required to install an interlock device into their vehicle. This device measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath to determine if they are sober enough to operate their vehicle. Some interlock devices also ask for periodic retesting while the vehicle is running.

Question: How much does an interlock device cost?

A: The price of these devices varies, but generally, they range from $40-100 a month. There is also an installation fee that can cost between $70 and $150.

Question: How do ignition interlock devices work?

A: When a driver gets into a vehicle with an interlock device, they will be prompted to blow into a mouthpiece before the vehicle can be turned on. The device is programmed to detect if the person’s blood alcohol concentration exceeds the legal limit, in which case the engine is prevented from starting. The engine locks out for a period of time that increase with each additional failed test. The driver must wait for the alcohol to leave their system before the device will allow the vehicle’s engine to start up.

Question: Are these devices accurate?

A: Yes, interlock devices provide accurate readings of a person’s blood alcohol concentration. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has established strict guidelines that manufacturers of ignition interlock devices must follow. This includes making sure the device is tested by an independent laboratory.

Question: Are more DUIs prevented because of interlock devices?

A:  According to studies, 90% of drivers who have had interlock devices installed in their vehicles successfully avoid getting another DUI.  

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