Driving under the influence of alcohol can lead to serious consequences. While drunk driving laws vary by state, anyone caught driving under the influence can face a number of punishments ranging from fines to jail time. One possible consequence of drunk driving is having to have an ignition interlock device put in your vehicle. The ignition interlock device is also known as the Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID). This device is used to monitor the driver’s sobriety and report any issues to law enforcement.
How The Ignition Interlock Devices Work
An ignition interlock device works by determining the driver’s BAC, or blood alcohol content, to ensure that it is under a certain amount. Before starting the vehicle, the driver is required to blow into the ignition interlock device. This will determine the BAC and if it is over a predetermined level, the system is designed to prevent the vehicle from starting. In addition to preventing drivers from operating the vehicle if they have a certain BAC, the ignition interlock device will record and log data so that it can later be reviewed by probation and court personnel.
Ignition Interlock Conditions
Laws for driving under the influence vary by state but judges have the ability to require the use of an ignition interlock system in most DUI cases. While first time offenders can be punished by having an ignition interlock device installed, it is more often required for drivers with multiple DUI convictions. The device may be required for first time offenders if they have an excessively high blood alcohol level. The device may also be more likely to be ordered by a judge if the offense results in injury. In some states, when an ignition interlock device is installed, a special license plate is also required for the vehicle so that it is easier for law enforcement to spot such vehicles.
Cost of Ignition Interlock Systems
While the overall costs of an ignition interlock system can vary widely, there are many costs that easily add up. The driver convicted of the DUI offense is responsible for all costs associated with the device. These costs include maintenance for the time that the device is installed, installation costs, monthly rental fees, and more. Monthly costs for an ignition interlock device are often between sixty and one hundred dollars a month. Annually, having to have an ignition interlock device installed will likely cost the offender more than $1,000. The length of time that the device will be installed for can vary depending on a number of different factors and is ultimately determined by the judge presiding over the case.
Do Ignition Interlock Devices Actually Deter Drunk Driving?
Ignition interlock devices are reliable as they are required to meet standards set up by the NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Interlock devices feature tamper proof seals and other anti-circumvention features. One of the anti-circumvention features is the running retest. The running retest requires the driver to blow into the device while driving at random intervals. Due to the way that the device must be used, it is very difficult for an impaired person to properly blow into the device thus rendering the vehicle unusable. For these reasons, the device does help to deter those that have been convicted of drunk driving and required to install the interlock system from repeating the same mistake.
Ultimately, ignition interlock devices are costly, and driving under the influence should never be done. Not only do drunk driving offenders face a number of costs that can add up quickly, as well as jail time, they also run a high risk of injuring themselves or someone else. The potential consequences of driving under the influence are not worth the risk. To learn more about ignition interlock devices, visit the following websites.
More Information on Ignition Interlock Devices
- All About Ignition Interlocks
- Ignition Interlock – Frequently Asked Questions
- How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work? – (PDF)
- Ignition Interlock Driver License
- State Ignition Interlock Laws
- What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
- Ignition Interlock Device Costs
- Driving While Intoxicated
- State Drunk Driving Laws
- Impaired Driving
By Ted Burgess