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All You Need to Know about Ignition interlock Devices

There are many reasons to educate yourself on the uses of ignition interlock devices. You need to know as much as possible if a court has ordered you to get one for your vehicle. If a loved one has been ordered to get one, you should learn about them so that you know what to expect if you are sharing a vehicle.



Fortunately, these devices are not difficult to understand. You’ll know everything you need to if you know

  • What an ignition interlock is
  • Why they are used
  • How they work
  • Where you can get one

Let’s start with the most basic question: What is an ignition interlock device?

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is basically a breathalyzer that has been built into a vehicle. Part of the device is installed into the ignition, and the other part is a testing device that is located within reach of the driver’s seat.

The driver takes the test by exhaling into the testing device. The alcohol content of the breath is analyzed. If there is too much alcoholic residue in the test, the ignition will be blocked and the vehicle will not start.

Why are Ignition Interlock Devices Used?

These devices were only recently invented, but they have already become widespread all over the world.

Most courts now understand that alcoholism is a disease. Treating it is not as simple as applying the harshest penalties possible, and for many people, the stripping of a driver’s license is an incredibly harsh punishment.

Those who have lost their licenses will have a very difficult time attending court-ordered treatment, maintaining their employment or fulfilling their family obligations. Ignition interlocks offer a way around that problem by guaranteeing that the those who have been sentenced cannot drive when they are impaired, but can drive under other circumstances.

How do Ignition Interlock Devices Work?

Interlock devices contain all of the technology of a field breathalyzer. When the driver breathes into the testing device, the alcohol content in the breath is detected by a sensor. The readings from the sensor are then measured to create a score, and that score determines whether or not the vehicle will start.

Of course, that’s only the first step for many courts. The devices keep a long-term log of all attempts at using them. Drivers are required to avoid any violations. If they have had anything to drink, they are not supposed to attempt to drive a vehicle at all.

Where can I get an Ignition Interlock Device?

If you are required to get an interlock device, you will often be given a list of court-approved manufacturers and service centers. You will be charged a fee to install the device in the first place, usually about $150.

After that, if you need to submit regular logs, you will need to pay a monthly fee of up to $90 a month for the monitoring and calibration.

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