Can I Leave My Car Running with an
Ignition Interlock Device? 

ignition interlockWhen winter weather begins to creep in, a lot of us keep our cars running because of temperature concerns and the fear of frostbite. It’s no fun getting into a cold car and waiting for the heat to kick in, or turning off a car when you’re just dropping off your laundry or picking up a newspaper, especially when the cold winds are blowing.  But, when you have an ignition interlock device, the convenience of leaving your car running can work against you, no matter the weather.

Your ignition interlock device is programmed to prevent you from starting your car if you’ve been drinking, and to keep testing your blood alcohol content (BAC) while the car is running. Most of the time during these rolling retests, it is assumed you are driving and right next to your ignition interlock device. However, if you leave your car idling to warm it up or while you dash into a store, you’re clearly not in the driver’s seat and available to submit your breath sample. By keeping your car running, could run the risk of missing a re-test and violating the terms of your drunk driving conviction.

If you have an ignition interlock requirement on your car, you’re probably willing to do whatever it takes to have the device removed as soon as legally possible. While it may be tempting to let your car warm up before driving away, or leaving it “for a minute” while you take care of an errand, there’s a risk you’re taking that could extend the time requirement for the device, or even worse. Since you’re already on the road to moving past your conviction, don’t let a little thing like chilly temperatures stand in your way. If you are always available for your ignition interlock tests, you won’t have to make any extra trips to your service provider or to the court and your days of waiting in the cold will end sooner than you think.

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