Prevention

Drunk Driving Prevention

Ignition interlock devices are breath alcohol analyzers about the size of a cell phone wired into the vehicles of drunk driving offenders. They’re designed to measure the breath alcohol content (BrAC) of someone who has previously offended and if the drivers BrAC content is too high, the device will prevent the motor vehicle from starting. The devices also require the driver to participate in random rolling tests that if positive, will alert nearby law enforcement with auditory and visual signals that the driver is operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

They’re a cost-effective and innovative solution designed to keep our public roadways safe. At a cost of less than $3 per day, paid for by the offender, they act as a sobriety checkpoint for previous offenders while freeing up law enforcement to pursue other crimes.

Offenders with ignition interlock devices are required to periodically go to local service centers where data about their driving behavior is uploaded and monitored by motor vehicle administrators and the courts.

While each state administers their interlock program differently – the devices play a critical role in keeping public roadways that you and your family drive on safe. Since 2006, ignition interlocks stopped 2.3 million attempts to drive while drunk.

Statistics

  • According to Mother’s Against Drink Driving (MADD) ignition interlock devices stopped 350,000 attempts to drive drunk in 2017. Since 2006, ignition interlocks have stopped a combined 2.3 million attempts to operate a vehicle while alcohol- impaired.
  • Fifty to seventy-five percent of convicted drunk drivers will continue to drive on a suspended license. Court ordered ignition interlocks protect the rest of the public sharing the road ways by ensuring offenders are operating their vehicles while sober.
  • Each day, more than 300,000 people drive drunk but fewer than 4,000 are arrested. About one-third of all drunk driving arrests are repeat offenses.
  • According to the Center for Disease Control, 28 people die every day in alcohol- related crashes. That amounts to one death every hour.

2017 Stats

Alabama Statistics

Participation27.57%
  • 3,094 DUI Arrests Made
  • 853 Total Installs
  • 1,198 Stops At >.08
SummaryAlabama has an all-offender law which allows for deferred adjudication for a first-time offender convicted of .08 or above. Additionally, an offender may stay on an interlock for six months in lieu of a 90-day license suspension.

Alaska Statistics

Participation47.71%
  • 3,012 DUI Arrests Made
  • 1,437 Total Installs
  • 1,690 Stops At >.08
SummaryAlaska has an all-offender interlock law that puts a .08 or above offender on an ignition interlock device 30 days after conviction. If an offender is stopped and refuses a road side sobriety test, that offender may also be put on an interlock within 30 days if convicted.

Arizona Statistics

Participation73.84%
  • 22,080 DUI Arrests Made
  • 16,303 Total Installs
  • 8,883 Stops At >.08
SummaryArizona has an all-offender law requiring the use of an ignition interlock device for anyone convicted at .08. Upon conviction first and second offenders are required to be on an interlock for the duration of one year.

Arkansas Statistics

Participation69.51%
  • 6,834 DUI Arrests Made
  • 4,750 Total Installs
  • 14,301 Stops At >.08
SummaryArkansas's all-offender law requires interlocks for arrest BAC's of .08 and above.

California Statistics

Participation12.86%
  • 131,191 DUI Arrests Made
  • 16,873 Total Installs
  • 25,105 Stops At >.08
SummaryCalifornia's all-offender ignition interlock program goes into effect in 2019. Until then, a four-county first offender IID pilot program remains in effect in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties.

Colorado Statistics

Participation100.93%
  • 23,581 DUI Arrests Made
  • 23,801 Total Installs
  • 12,096 Stops At >.08
SummaryColorado law incentivizes the use of ignition interlocks for first offenders convicted at .08 or above. Offenders have a shorter license suspension if they elect to go onto an interlock device immediately following a drunk driving conviction. The duration for being on a device for a first offense is a minimum of eight months while a second offense is two years. Colorado requires offenders comply with certain standards in order for the interlock device to be removed.

Connecticut Statistics

Participation69.65%
  • 8,617 DUI Arrests Made
  • 6,002 Total Installs
  • 13,639 Stops At >.08
SummaryConnecticut has an all-offender law for anyone convicted of drunk driving with a BAC of .08 and above. First-time offenders can install ignition interlock devices rather than having their license suspended. First-time offenders are required to be on an ignition interlock for a period of six months with an opportunity for compliance-based removal. Second offenders are required to remain on a device for the period of one year.

Delaware Statistics

Participation15.74%
  • 4,207 DUI Arrests Made
  • 662 Total Installs
  • 1,150 Stops At >.08
SummaryDelaware is an all-offender state requiring a first-time offender, as part of a diversion program to go on to an interlock device right away for a duration of four months to just over two years.

District of Columbia Statistics

Participation0.92%
  • 1,530 DUI Arrests Made
  • 14 Total Installs
  • 35 Stops At >.08
SummaryThe Nation's Capitol has had an all-offender ingition interlock law. First-time offenders have their driving privileges revoked contingent on the installation of an ignition interlock device for six months. For a second offense, the an offender remains on an ignition interlock device for a period of one year.

Florida Statistics

Participation29.27%
  • 35,042 DUI Arrests Made
  • 10,258 Total Installs
  • 9,926 Stops At >.08
SummaryFlorida law requires first time offenders to be placed on an ignition interlock device when convicted of driving with a BAC of .15 or higher. In 2014, Florida updated its statutes to allow for a judge to place an offender convicted with a .08 to a .14 BAC onto an interlock device for six months in lieu of a 10-day vehicle impoundment.

Georgia Statistics

Participation11.80%
  • 19,028 DUI Arrests Made
  • 2,245 Total Installs
  • 4,922 Stops At >.08
SummaryGeorgia law requires an ignition interlock for a first-time offender for four months upon arrest. A second-time offender may have an interlock device installed 120 days after conviction for a period of 12 months. Georgia is one of the few states in the nation that does not have a mandatory all-offender law and does not require current offenders with interlocks compliance-based removal.

Hawaii Statistics

Participation25.21%
  • 5,906 DUI Arrests Made
  • 1,489 Total Installs
  • 1,248 Stops At >.08
SummaryIn Hawaii, first offenders must have an ignition interlock installed upon arrest for a one year period. Second-time offenders have an ignition interlock installed for a period of 18 months.

Idaho Statistics

Participation9.68%
  • 10,356 DUI Arrests Made
  • 1,002 Total Installs
  • 622 Stops At >.08
SummaryIn 2018, Idaho passed an all-offender law making them the 32nd state in the country to have an all-offender law for convicted drunk drivers.

Illinois Statistics

Participation29.37%
  • 29,528 DUI Arrests Made
  • 8,673 Total Installs
  • 6,361 Stops At >.08
SummaryIllinois has an all-offender law that suspends the driver's license of first time drunk driving offenders, but allows them to immediately obtain a Monitoring Device Driving Permit with an ignition interlock installed for a period of six months. A repeat offender is required by the state of Illinois to serve at least five years on an interlock.

Indiana Statistics

Participation10.93%
  • 13,553 DUI Arrests Made
  • 1,482 Total Installs
  • 1,731 Stops At >.08
SummaryIndian's law requires ignition interlock devices for repeat offenders and allows a judge to order interlocks for first time offenders. A first- time offender may have an interlock installed upon arrest for a duration of six months. Indiana law requires compliance based removal.

Iowa Statistics

Participation51.33%
  • 10,351 DUI Arrests Made
  • 5,313 Total Installs
  • 11,274 Stops At >.08
SummaryIowa requires ignition interlocks for first time offenders with a BAC of .08 or higher but recently eliminated driving restrictions and made the offender immediately eligible for the interlock.

Kansas Statistics

Participation108.70%
  • 9,186 DUI Arrests Made
  • 9,985 Total Installs
  • 12,675 Stops At >.08
SummaryKansas law would allow first time offenders with a BAC of .08 or above to have an ignition interlock device installed.

Kentucky Statistics

Participation3.56%
  • 23,443 DUI Arrests Made
  • 834 Total Installs
  • 1,496 Stops At >.08
SummaryKentucky law requires ignition interlock devices for all repeat offenders, those refusing a chemical alcohol test and first offenders convicted with a BAC of .15 or greater.

Louisiana Statistics

Participation43.43%
  • 11,881 DUI Arrests Made
  • 5,160 Total Installs
  • 13,591 Stops At >.08
SummaryFor first-time offenders in Lousiana convicted with a BAC of .08 at the time of their arrest, they may have an ignition interlock installed for a period of one year as a condition of a hardship license.

Maine Statistics

Participation6.01%
  • 9,054 DUI Arrests Made
  • 544 Total Installs
  • 1,604 Stops At >.08
SummaryFirst offenders in Maine are put onto an ignition interlock within 30 days of their license being revoked for a period of 5 months. For a second offense, offenders are put on an interlock for a period of two years, nine months after their license was revoked.

Maryland Statistics

Participation59.34%
  • 17,869 DUI Arrests Made
  • 10,603 Total Installs
  • 7,291 Stops At >.08
SummaryNoah's Law made Maryland an all-offender state. It requires a first offender to be put on an ignition interlock upon arrest for a duration of six months. Second offenders are put on an interlock upon arrest for a period of one year. Those offenders who refuse a breath test are put on an interlock for a period of 270 days. Maryland requires compliance-based removal of interlock devices.

Massachusetts Statistics

Participation65.24%
  • 9,054 DUI Arrests Made
  • 5,907 Total Installs
  • 3,662 Stops At >.08
SummaryMassachusetts is the only state in the country that doesn't allow first offenders the option to be put on an ignition interlock. Second offenders in Massachusetts may be put on an interlock device one year after their conviction for a period of two years.

Michigan Statistics

Participation31.98%
  • 33,403 DUI Arrests Made
  • 10,682 Total Installs
  • 2,084 Stops At >.08
SummaryMichigan law has required ignition interlock devices for first time offenders with a BAC of .17 or greater and repeat offenders. For first offenders convicted with a BAC of .17 or greater, they may have an ignition interlock device installed 45 days after their conviction for a period of one year.

Minnesota Statistics

Participation63.71%
  • 20,059 DUI Arrests Made
  • 12,779 Total Installs
  • 7,655 Stops At >.08
SummaryMinnesota has required the use of interlocks for all first-time offenders convicted of drunk driving with a BAC of .16 or greater and for repeat offenders. First offenders with a BAC of .08 to .15 are eligible to use an interlock for a 90-day license revocation. First time offenders with a BAC of greater than .16 are eligible for an interlock after a 90 day license revocation for a period of one year.

Mississippi Statistics

Participation13.52%
  • 7,226 DUI Arrests Made
  • 977 Total Installs
  • 1,647 Stops At >.08
SummaryMississippi is an all-offender state with statutes requiring a first-time offender to have an interlock installed upon arrest for a period of 120 days. A second-time offender is eligible to have an interlock for a period of one year.

Missouri Statistics

Participation41.23%
  • 20,138 DUI Arrests Made
  • 8,303 Total Installs
  • 11,512 Stops At >.08
SummaryMissouri requires ignition interlocks for all convicted drink drivers. Upon license suspension from the MO DMV, a first time offender is required to be on an interlock for a period of 90 days. Missouri requires compliance-based removal.

Montana Statistics

Participation6.84%
  • 5,483 DUI Arrests Made
  • 375 Total Installs
  • 308 Stops At >.08
SummaryMontana law gives judges discretion for ordering interlocks for first-time offenders. Upon conviction and a judge's order, first time offenders in Montana shall have an ignition interlock installed for a period of six months. Judges must order ignition interlock devices for second time offenders, who are then eligible to install an interlock 45 days after they're convicted for a period of one year.

Nebraska Statistics

Participation56.74%
  • 7,425 DUI Arrests Made
  • 4,213 Total Installs
  • 4,290 Stops At >.08
SummaryUpon arrest, first offenders in Nebraska are eligible for an interlock device installation for a period of at least six months. Second-time offenders are eligible 45 days after their license revocation ends for a period of at least one year. Nebraska does not require compliance-based removal. Convicted first-time offenders who refused a breath test are eligible for an interlock 90 days after their license revocation for a period of one year.

Nevada Statistics

Participation11.06%
  • 10,718 DUI Arrests Made
  • 1,185 Total Installs
  • 1,039 Stops At >.08
SummaryNevada has an all-offender law that requires judges to order an ignition interlock device to anyone convicted of driving with a BAC of .08 or above. First offenders may be eligible for an interlock device 45 days after their license revocation. Second-time offenders may be eligible for an ignition interlock device after a one year license revocation.

New Hampshire Statistics

Participation24.51%
  • 4,916 DUI Arrests Made
  • 1,205 Total Installs
  • 1,040 Stops At >.08
SummaryNew Hampshire requires ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers. First-time offenders may install an ignition interlock device 45 days after their conviction which remains for a duration of one year. New Hampshire requires offenders with interlocks installed to meet compliance-based removal standards.

New Jersey Statistics

Participation13.20%
  • 22,874 DUI Arrests Made
  • 3,019 Total Installs
  • 17,597 Stops At >.08
SummaryNew Jersey mandates judges order ignition interlocks when an offender is conviction of driving with a BAC of .15 or above. If an offender is convicted of driving with a BAC of .08 to .14, an interlock can be ordered at the judges discretion. How quickly an ignition interlock device for first-time offenders can be installed in New Jersey varies but first-time offenders will be an interlock between six months to one year. A repeat offender is required to have an interlock device installed during a two-year license suspension even though they're not legally able to drive and the interlock will remain installed for a period of one to three years.

New Mexico Statistics

Participation187.77%
  • 6,240 DUI Arrests Made
  • 11,717 Total Installs
  • 7,199 Stops At >.08
SummaryNew Mexico was the first state in the nation to pass an all-offender law. The law requires ignition interlocks be installed for drunk drivers convicted of driving with a BAC of .08 or above. New Mexico however does not require for compliance-based removal.

New York Statistics

Participation22.50%
  • 39,005 DUI Arrests Made
  • 8,775 Total Installs
  • 5,656 Stops At >.08
SummaryNew York currently has an all-offender law that requires first and second-time offenders to have an ignition interlock installed for a period of one year upon their conviction. New York also has compliance- based removal.

North Carolina Statistics

Participation28.69%
  • 40,120 DUI Arrests Made
  • 11,509 Total Installs
  • 2,699 Stops At >.08
SummaryNorth Carolina's law makes it mandatory for first offenders convicted of driving with a BAC of .15 or above to have an ignition interlock device installed 45 days after their conviction for a period of one year. Repeat offenders are required to install regardless of BAC.

North Dakota Statistics

Participation0.06%
  • 5,406 DUI Arrests Made
  • 3 Total Installs
  • 28 Stops At >.08
SummaryIn North Dakota, judges have the discretion to order interlock devices for first-time convicted drunk drivers or the state's DMV can issue an interlock as a condition of a restricted license. First offenders are eligible for an interlock device 30 days after their license has been revoked and there is no set timeframe for which an offender may be required to be on an interlock.

Ohio Statistics

Participation11.77%
  • 25,227 DUI Arrests Made
  • 2,969 Total Installs
  • 3,626 Stops At >.08
SummaryAnnie's Law in Ohio expands incentives to use an ignition interlock device for drunk driving offenders. A first offender may be eligible to install an interlock device 15 days after their conviction and may have the device installed for a duration of six to 18 months. A second-time offender may install an interlock 45 days after their conviction and may have the device installed for a duration of one to four years.

Oklahoma Statistics

Participation76.75%
  • 12,866 DUI Arrests Made
  • 9,875 Total Installs
  • 14,129 Stops At >.08
SummaryIn Oklahoma, judges must order ignition interlock devices for first-time and repeal offenders who are convicted of driving with a BAC of .15 or greater. First offenders with a BAC of .08 to .14 can choose to drive during a license suspension period. First time offenders are eligible to install ignition interlock devices 30 days after their arrest, with offenders convicted at .08 to .14 to be on an interlock for a period of six months while first-time offenders convicted with a BAC of .15 or greater will be on an interlock for a period of 18 months. A repeat drunk driving offender is eligible to install an interlock 30 days after their arrest but can be on the interlock for a period of four years.

Oregon Statistics

Participation61.00%
  • 9,733 DUI Arrests Made
  • 5,937 Total Installs
  • 3,383 Stops At >.08
SummaryOregon passed a mandatory all-offender interlock law in 2007 and updated their law in 2011 to allow offenders to have an interlock installed for a period of twelve months upon agreeing to a diversion program with the court. A second offense and first conviction would make the offender eligible for an interlock installation one year after their conviction with the interlock being installed for a period of one year.

Pennsylvania Statistics

Participation17.54%
  • 46,370 DUI Arrests Made
  • 8,135 Total Installs
  • 5,173 Stops At >.08
SummaryPennsylvania requires the use of ignition interlock devices for refusals, repeat and first-time offenders with a BAC of .10 or above. First offenders with a BAC of .10 or more are eligible for an interlock installation upon arrest. Second-time offenders and those who refuse are eligible for installation six months after their license was revoked. All installation periods in Pennsylvania are for one year, regardless if you are a first time, repeat offender or refused a breath test.

Rhode Island Statistics

Participation29.74%
  • 2,730 DUI Arrests Made
  • 812 Total Installs
  • 945 Stops At >.08
SummaryRhode Island has all-offender interlock law that allows judges to order the use of ignition interlocks for offenders who apply for a hardship license following a conviction. Judges must order interlock devices for all first time and repeat offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater after their hardship license concludes. For a first offense, an offender may be eligible to install an interlock upon their conviction and remain on the device for a period of 30 days to one year. For a second offense, offenders can install a device 45 after their conviction and remain on the device for a period of six months to two years. If you at first refuse a breath test and are convicted, you're immediately eligible for an interlock and would remain on the device for a period of 6 months to two years. Rhode Island does have standards for compliance-based removal.

South Carolina Statistics

Participation9.87%
  • 16,037 DUI Arrests Made
  • 1,583 Total Installs
  • 1,974 Stops At >.08
SummaryEmma's Law expanded the use of interlocks for drunk driving offenders giving first-time offenders with a BAC of .08 to .14 the option to chose to use an interlock in order to drive with no geographic restrictions lieu of license suspension. Repeat and first-time offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater are required to install an ignition interlock. A first offender convicted with a BAC of .08 to .14 is eligible to install a device upon their license revocation and shall remain on the interlock for a period of six months. A first-offender convicted with a BAC of .15 or greater is eligible for a device 30 days after their license if revoked and shall remain on the device for a period of six months.

South Dakota Statistics

Participation1.01%
  • 6,606 DUI Arrests Made
  • 67 Total Installs
  • 105 Stops At >.08
SummaryFirst and second-time offenders in South Dakota have the option to install an ignition interlock device as soon as their bond is granted or for repeat offenders if they've enrolled in to the state's 24/7 program.

Tennessee Statistics

Participation28.88%
  • 23,204 DUI Arrests Made
  • 6,702 Total Installs
  • 7,282 Stops At >.08
SummaryFirst-time offenders in Tennessee who refuse an alcohol test can choose to use an interlock in lieu of being restricted from driving to specific locations are certain times. A first or second time offender in Tennessee is eligible to install an interlock device upon their conviction. For a first-time offender, the duration of interlock use is for six months. There are compliance-based removal requirements for offenders with an interlock installed in their vehicle in Tennessee.

Texas Statistics

Participation86.16%
  • 62,327 DUI Arrests Made
  • 53,699 Total Installs
  • 29,488 Stops At >.08
SummaryTexas has all-offender ignition interlock law that states any drunk driver arrested may receive an interlock occupational license following their arrest or choose not to drive. For an offense with a BAC of .08 to .14 an interlock may be installed upon the revocation of the offenders driver's license with the ignition interlock being used for a period of between 90 days to one year. For a first offense with a BAC of .15 or greater, an offender is eligible for an interlock upon the revocation of their driver's license and shall remain on the interlock device for one year. First offenders who successfully complete their interlock period may immediately petition the court to have their conviction sealed. In Texas, ignition interlocks are mandatory as a condition of Bond for all repeat offenders, intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter, and the device must be installed 30 days after release. Interlock is mandatory as a condition of probation for all offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater, any repeat offender, intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter. Offenders can petition the court after serving half their period of probation on interlock for early release. If an offender is under the age of 21 and on probation; an interlock device is mandatory.

Utah Statistics

Participation22.13%
  • 8,909 DUI Arrests Made
  • 1,972 Total Installs
  • 2,802 Stops At >.08
SummaryUtah passed an all-offender interlock law in 2009 requiring convicted first time offenders to have an interlock device installed within 30 days of their conviction for a period of 18 months.

Vermont Statistics

Participation76.65%
  • 1,482 DUI Arrests Made
  • 1,136 Total Installs
  • 1,372 Stops At >.08
SummaryFirst-time offenders in Vermont are eligible for an interlock device upon their license being revoked and can remain on the interlock for a period of six months. A second-time offender is also eligible for an interlock device upon their license being revoked and can remain on the device for a period of 18 months. Upon the first refusal of a breath test, a convicted offender is eligible to install an interlock 30 days after a license revocation and may remain on the device for up to nine months. Vermont does have compliance-based removal requirements.

Virginia Statistics

Participation40.00%
  • 20,197 DUI Arrests Made
  • 8,078 Total Installs
  • 2,716 Stops At >.08
SummaryVirginia law requires that any offender convicted of drunk driving with a BAC of .08 or greater shall have an ignition interlock device installed on every vehicle they own or that is registered to them. The court determines the length of time the interlock is installed but the minimum time is six months. The time can be extended if there are additional DUI convictions during the installation period.

Washington Statistics

Participation85.26%
  • 22,993 DUI Arrests Made
  • 19,603 Total Installs
  • 14,204 Stops At >.08
SummaryWashington's all-offender ignition interlock law allows the courts order an interlock for anyone convicted of driving with a BAC of .08 or above. The court can also order an ignition interlock device for any person convicted of an aggravated driving offense such as reckless driving, within seven years of an alcohol-related driving offense.

West Virginia Statistics

Participation81.61%
  • 4,438 DUI Arrests Made
  • 3,622 Total Installs
  • 2,237 Stops At >.08
SummaryFor first-time offenders in West Virginia convicted of driving with a BAC of .08 to .14, are eligible for an ignition interlock device upon arrest for a duration of four months. For first offenders convicted with a BAC of .15 or greater, they're also eligible for the device upon arrest for a period of up to nine months. A second-time offender can remain on an interlock for a period of two years. West Virginia does have compliance-based removal requirements.

Wisconsin Statistics

Participation56.60%
  • 25,030 DUI Arrests Made
  • 14,168 Total Installs
  • 46,750 Stops At >.08
SummaryWisconsin law requires the use of ignition interlocks for first-time offenders with a BAC of .15 or greater. For a first offense with a BAC of .15 or greater, offenders are eligible for an ignition interlock upon conviction for a duration of one year. For a second offense, an individual is eligible for an interlock 45 days after their conviction an shall be on the device for the period of one year. For an individual who was convicted after first refusing a breath test, they would be eligible for an interlock device 30 days after their conviction and shall remain on the device for a period of one year.

Wyoming Statistics

Participation38.48%
  • 3,082 DUI Arrests Made
  • 1,186 Total Installs
  • 969 Stops At >.08
SummaryWyoming requires ignition interlocks to be installed for first-time offenders who have been convicted of driving with a BAC of .15 or above. First time offenders are eligible for installation of an interlock 45 days after their conviction and shall be on the device for a period of six months. Second-offenders shall be on the device for a period of one year. Individuals who have been convicted after their first refusal of a breath test shall have an ignition interlock device installed for a period of six months.

FAQs

What is an ignition interlock?

An ignition interlock device (IID) or breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) can prevent a driver from starting a vehicle if the driver’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) is above a pre-set fail level. Similar to a breathalyzer, the IID analyzes the breath sample provided by the driver to determine the BrAC. If the BrAC is under the pre-set fail level, the IID will allow the ignition of the vehicle to start the engine. If a valid breath sample is not provided, or if the BrAC is at or above the pre-set fail level, the ignition will be disabled thus preventing the engine from being started.

Why does someone install an interlock?

Individuals will install for a variety of reasons. To satisfy a court-ordered requirement, i.e. probation or to retain their driving privileges as part of an administrative licensing requirement. Other reasons to have an IID are in child custody and family visitation issues when alcohol is a factor, family violence, plea bargain or deferred prosecution program, work related compliance or voluntarily.

What is an ignition interlock program?

In an effort to reduce drunk driving recidivism (repeat offenses), while allowing an offender to retain their driving privileges, an ignition interlock restriction can be imposed which would require the use of an IID on any vehicle operated by the offender for the duration of the restriction.

Why interlocks? Why not suspend their license to drive?

Drunk driving is a crime and habitual offenders should have their licenses suspended while being required to drive with an ignition interlock device while they adjust to living a clean and sober lifestyle. For first-time offenders, ignition interlocks give them the ability to demonstrate a change in behavior that led to an offense in their first place while carrying on their daily activities like going to work, going to the grocery store and taking their kids to activities.

How does the IID work?
  1. Once the driver gets into their vehicle, the device will prompt the specific individual to provide a breath sample.
  2. The device will prompt the driver to provide a breath sample.
  3. The driver will attempt to provide a valid breath sample, by blowing into the device as previously instructed.
  4. If the resultant breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) analyzed in the breath sample is below the pre-set fail level, which is typically .025 but varies by State, the engine can be started. If the BrAC is at or above the pre-set fail level, the violation will cause the ignition to be disabled and the vehicle will not start. The IID will “Lockout” for a short period of time. Once the “Lockout” period has expired, another breath sample can be provided.
  5. At random times during vehicle operation, the IID will prompt the driver to provide another breath sample (also referred to as a “Retest”). The purpose of the Retest is to deter someone other than driver, or some other form of altered air, from providing the breath sample. If the breath sample for the retest is failed or missed, the IID will log the event, warn the driver and in some cases start up an alarm (e.g. lights flashing, horn honking, etc.) until the ignition is turned off, or a valid breath sample is provided.
What is the process of having the IID installed, monitored and removed?

Installation: Once the offender has an IID restriction, an appointment is scheduled with a service center for installation of the IID. At the initial installation, the offender will be trained on how to use the device and the applicable program requirements.

Monitoring: The IID will be monitored as prescribed by the state motor vehicle administrator’s or the court’s guidelines. The device’s data is monitored to ensure the offender in complying with their individual state’s ignition interlock program. The data is most cases is uploaded automatically from the device and in some cases, can be done by returning to the service center.

Removal: Once the order has been issued removing the IID restriction, the offender can then schedule a removal appointment.

How often will the IID need to be calibrated?

Once the offender has a device installed in their vehicle, the frequency of monitoring compliance varies from state to state. The frequency in which the device is monitored can be anywhere from every 30 days to 180 days until which time an offender has an order to remove the interlock from their vehicle.

What is the cost of the device?

Fees can be incurred for installation, monitoring and in some instances removal. The device is leased to the offender for the duration of the program, and all costs for the device are inclusive in the monthly monitoring fee.

On average, the installation ranges from $70 to $150, and monitoring ranges from $60 to $80 per month. That equates to roughly $3 dollars per day while the device is installed.

In certain states, there are indigent funds that help offenders the offset the cost of the device and installation, based upon their income verification. Indigent fund guidelines for states that offer this program vary.

How is the IID monitored?

Many ignition interlock devices today are equipped with state of the art technology that allows breath samples to be uploaded to the appropriate monitoring agency or officer in real time. Devices can also be equipped with GPS tracking that some states use to alert authorities to the location of an intoxicated driver who has failed a rolling breath test. Devices that don’t have the capability of uploading data automatically will have their data downloaded when the offender returns to the service center for re-calibration.

How reliable is the IID?

All IIDs conform to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards as set forth in the model specifications for breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIIDs) in the Federal Register, and any other State specific requirements.

What if someone other than the offender blows into the IID and causes a violation?

Ultimately, it is the offender’s legal obligation under the conditions of the interlock program that require them to be the person to provide a breath sample to the device each time the vehicle is started.

Depending on the type of device, other security features like cameras may be in place to deter violations by someone providing a breath sample other than the offender.

At the time of installation, offenders are required to establish a pattern of breathing. Each device mandates this as a requirement for installation to ensure compliance and minimize device circumvention. For instance, one offender’s pattern may be three subsequent short breaths while another may have one long breath, two short breaths. The intent of these patterns is to ensure that the offender is the one blowing into the device.

Can someone’s personal health prevent them providing a sufficient breath sample?

If an offender has difficulty with providing a sufficient amount of breath for a valid sample, the IID can be lowered to the minimum allowable standards set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA). However, the process and standards for lowering the breath sample in each state varies and each offender’s case is considered individually.

Can the IID disable the engine during operation?

These devices meet the strict standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which regulates the overall safety of motor vehicles and the technology that we use to make them operate safely and more efficiently. NHTSA’s standards cover ignition interlock devices and they cannot disable the engine if a retest is missed or failed. The IID can prevent the ignition from allowing the engine to start, but cannot disable the engine.

What if the engine stalls?

The IID will allow the ignition to be restarted without providing a breath test for a couple minutes following the engine’s cease of operation. This will allow the driver a sufficient amount of time to quickly restart the engine.

Will the hygiene products I use affect the devices reading?

The device will detect alcohol in all its forms and you should take great care before starting your vehicle. It’s best to wait to apply products where you wish when you arrive at your destination. You also have the option to buy products with a lower alcohol concentration that soften the dispersion factor once applied.

What about the use of mouthwash?

Alcohol-based mouthwash can also contaminate a breath sample. You may also rinse your mouth with water before taking the breath test to start your vehicle. If the use of mouthwash causes you to fail a breath test, it’s best to rinse your mouth with water and wait ten minutes before attempting to provide another breath sample.

Will tobacco products affect the breath sample?

No. This is a myth. Cigarettes and chewing tobacco do not contain alcohol.