An ignition interlock device is a type of breathalyzer installed in a vehicle in order to prevent someone from starting it while they’re intoxicated. Judges in most cases of Driving While Intoxicated will require an individual to install the device in any vehicle they operate as a condition of bond. Are you wondering how does an ignition interlock device work?

In terms of how the device works, before starting the vehicle the driver has to blow into a mouthpiece to provide a sample of air into the machine, which is designed to measure blood alcohol content levels. If the levels are below the acceptable limit, the vehicle will start without issue. On the other hand, if the levels turn out to be at or above the threshold set by the service provider, which can be as low as 0.03-0.04 BAC, the vehicle will not start and the individual will not be able to drive. The vehicle will also not start without first blowing into the device.

Installing this type of device in a vehicle typically takes less than an hour; however, this depends on the actual vehicle that is being fitted with the device. While this type of device is almost always required for those convicted of drunk driving offenses, but a driver may also choose to install a device even if they have not been required to do so.

You will also have to make an appointment to have the ignition interlock device installed; however, you should always check with your attorney about whether or not you can drive to this appointment yourself. If your license is suspended or the court ordered no driving as a bond condition, you will have to have another licensed driver take the vehicle for you to have the device installed.

If anyone else wishes to drive your vehicle after the device has been installed, they will also have to blow into it as well. Most judges will assume that any violations on the device were your fault.  Most interlock devices these days have cameras on them that take a picture while someone is giving a sample.

As far as the testing goes, some devices may require random retests while the vehicle is being operated.  Additionally, some judges may require that you blow during certain times of the day, and missing one could result in you facing more consequences, such as having your bond revoked.

Many devices will temporarily go into “lock out”mode after failing too many sample tests, and you can potentially get permanently locked out if you continue to attempt to start your vehicle with too many failed tests.  Only the service provider will be able to release it which may require you to have the vehicle towed to their shop.

Ignition interlock devices are a pain to deal with and you will be required to pay monthly fees to keep it calibrated.  Yet another reason to avoid going through the DWI process and spend the money on a ride.

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