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Ignition Interlock Device

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Definition - What does Ignition Interlock Device mean?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious problem in the United States causing the death of thousands of individuals each year. DUI penalties can be severe and can include jail time, license suspension, fines and installation of an Ignition Interlock Device.

An Ignition Interlock Device is an alcohol screening tool that is installed inside a car to prevent a driver from operating the motor vehicle if their blood alcohol concentration is too high. The Ignition interlock Device is installed on the dashboard of the car and requires the driver to blow into the device to get a BAC or blood alcohol concentration reading prior to starting the car. Drivers may also be forced to blow into the device after a specified driving time. Drivers with a BAC over a predetermined level (generally 0.2% to 0.4%) will not be able to start their car.

Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device is generally required if a driver has multiple DUI convictions, their BAC is high (generally over 0.15%), they refuse to consent to a blood alcohol concentration test or they have injured another driver while driving under the influence of alcohol. Ignition interlock installation may also be a condition for drivers to get their license reinstated if it was suspended for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Ignition Interlock Devices may cost approximately $100 to $200 to install and may have an additional monthly charge to operate. Additional costs may be charged to maintain or calibrate the device.

Related Links

  • Smart Start Ignition Interlock Systems -- Smart Start ignition interlock products are breath alcohol analyzers that keep drivers with DWIs/DUIs from operating vehicles if their breath alcohol level is over a pre-set level.

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