What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

The Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a programmable device more like a breathalyzer. It is usually installed on a cars dashboard mostly at the glove compartment. Its function is to detect the Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) of the driver. The driver is supposed to breath about a liter and a half of air into the handheld BAC sensor unit for alcohol content analysis. The device is connected to the car’s ignition such that the car cannot start without prompting from the IID. If the IID detects a BAC higher than the preset figure, it sends a relay to the ignition to lock the car. If on the other hand the BAC is within the predetermined standards, then the IID sends a signal to the ignition to start. The level of BAC allowed varies from state to state but ranges from .02 percentages to .04. Some states such as Michigan have higher allowances of up to .08 with exceptions of under 21’s who are required to maintain limits of .02.

Some IID’s are designed in such a way as to allow for rolling tests while driving. This helps to rule out the possibility of the driver asking someone else to breathe into the device in his or her place and then heading on to drive themselves. Rolling tests ensure that the driver does not drink while driving. The driver is expected to take the tests contrary to which he is liable for questioning and possible conviction. The IID keeps all records of data from each time the car is used. Users of IID are expected to allow for monthly maintenance of the devices which includes the download of data logs. This data can and is often used to evaluate the drivers driving under Influence (DUI) tendencies. For safety precautions, rolling tests do not signal the ignition to stop rather they send warning signals such as horn honking, alarm going off and lights going on and off. This serves to caution other motorists and law enforcement officers that the driver might be under influence.

IIDs are major requirements for re- issuance of driver permits after DUI fines and penalties, which mostly lead to confiscation of driver licenses. The court may allow the victims to drive with restricted driver licenses to places such as places of work, home, place of worship, drug and substance rehabilitation centers. For these drivers to be issued with the licenses, they are required to install an IID for monitory of their driving behavior.

The IID is a priceless garget that fosters safety on the road without exhausting the pocket. It takes about $100 to install the device and between $50- $100 to lease it monthly. Its efficiency is unrivalled and chances of tampering with it are minimal. It is built with strict government standards and there are tough penalties for those who may try to circumvent the devices normal working condition. All activity on this device is recorded so there is no way one can get away with trickery on this device. Rather than go through all the trouble, one should just quit driving while under influence.