How an Ignition Interlock Device Preserves Autonomy

Author // NPR Car Talk
Posted in // Interlock chandler, Interlock device az, Interlock phoenix

Ignition interlock

If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated, the court may order you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device is meant to discourage future driving while intoxicated. As approximately 28 people are killed in an automobile accident in the U.S. every day from a drunk driver, anything that can lower that statistic is worth investigating.

What Exactly is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is wired into a car’s ignition system. The device itself is like a very small car breathalyzer. The driver must blow into the tube when starting the car to prove they are not beginning their drive while intoxicated, and will then be required to retest their alcohol level randomly during the trip. Studies on the effectiveness of ignition interlock devices on reducing impaired driving show a 70% reduction in arrests. It even helps repeat offenders after the device is removed. It has been found to reduce repeat charges by 39% compared to a control group that had never installed the device in their vehicles.

How Much Does a Car Breathalyzer Cost?

When the court orders an ignition interlock device to be installed, the person is required to pay all costs for installation and maintenance. Installation may cost between $70-150, and maintenance is needed each month for monitoring and calibration. Because the device is wired into the ignition to be able to shut off the vehicle if the driver is over the preset alcohol limit, accurate calibration each month is extremely important.

How Big is the Device?

The device is a few inches bigger than a cell phone as the largest version, but every version is designed to fit comfortably in the driver’s hand. After all, it is meant to be a quick check while the vehicle is in motion, not a stop by the side of the road. For drivers who are hoping for a discreet breathalyzer, there are other options. An interlock cup is a large cover that is meant to disguise the ignition interlock device to appear as a large beverage cup. The tube on the device looks like a standard drinking straw, and the device is fitted into the cup portion. This is appreciated by drivers who want to retain some privacy about their affairs.

These devices are meant to reduce driving while intoxicated, and they do the job fairly well. Drivers who are convicted with a DUI charge cannot always survive without a car. They likely need a vehicle to drive to work, to pick up groceries or children, or to go to the hospital in case of an emergency. The device is a way of keeping the driver and other automobiles on the road safe, while still allowing the driver some autonomy.

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