Can a Driver Under 21 Years of Age Drive a Vehicle with an Ignition Interlock?

ignition interlockIgnition interlock devices are finding their way into more cars than ever, helping to keep drunk drivers off the road. All U.S. states require the devices for various drunk driving convictions, which leaves room for anyone who can legally drive the chance that they may have to “blow to go,” including those not even old enough to drink alcohol. Not everyone drinks and drives, but, anyone can have an ignition interlock device, even without a DUI or other drunk driving conviction.

A person under the age of 21 may not have the ability to drink, legally, but they are not prevented from using an ignition interlock device in any state. If you are under 21, you may have to use an ignition interlock if you:

  • Have been found guilty of your own DUI or other drunk driving charge, regardless of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of your arrest. There is a “zero tolerance” policy for underage minors in every state in the U.S., so any alcohol in your blood means you are guilty of drinking and driving.
  • Have a family member required to install an ignition interlock as a result of their drunk driving conviction. If the car you commonly drive is a “family car,” there is a good chance that you will have to use an ignition interlock device to fulfill the terms of your relative’s conviction.
  • Have parents that voluntarily installed an ignition interlock device on your vehicle to prevent you from attempting to ever drink and drive.

Anyone with a valid driver’s license can drive a car with an ignition interlock device installed, even if they can’t purchase or drink alcohol legally. With more states increasing their ignition interlock programs and parents realizing the value of the devices, it may not be too uncommon to see them in the hands of minors, teaching important lessons and keeping the streets safe.

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