Ignition interlock devices are installed to help reduce the number of alcohol-related traffic incidents that can result in serious injury and even death. Many states are passing laws requiring first-time DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. Ignition interlock devices are attached to the ignition system on a vehicle. In order to start the vehicle, the driver has to give a breath sample to test the alcohol levels in driver’s system. If the device registers a blood alcohol content of over a certain amount, the vehicle will not start. Unfortunately, not everyone feels these devices are helpful, and there have been several attempts to circumvent, or otherwise manipulate the ignition interlock devices to allow driving in circumstances when the devices would otherwise keep the car from starting.
There are several common methods people use to try to circumvent ignition interlock devices. One method is simply using another vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device installed. Another way to get around the devices is to try to uninstall them. Yet another method of ignition interlock circumvention is to use someone else s breath to start the car. People have tried to use breath from both other people and animals to pass the breath test. Since ignition interlock devices have been proven to reduce recidivism it is important to make sure people are following ignition interlock device regulations. No matter what, by attempting to circumvent a court-ordered ignition interlock device restriction, the convicted DUI offender will face harsh consequences.
States have enacted several safeguards against the circumnavigation of ignition interlock devices. Service recalls are required once a month for ignition interlock devices. This helps to ensure that the devices are functioning properly and that they have not been removed or tampered with. If a device is tampered with it will trigger an early service recall and the incident will be recorded. If the driver attempts to hotwire the vehicle in order to circumvent the device the horn may sound and the cars lights may flash to alert nearby police. Many states also require rolling retests. These rolling retests alert the driver randomly while operating the vehicle, letting them know that a retest is required. Within a few minutes, a driver must pull over and submit a clean breath sample for the retest. If they fail to do this or if the test is failed the horn will sound and the car’s lights will flash. In some instances the car may shut off and require an ignition interlock device technician to service the vehicle before it can be started again. Other states are attaching digital cameras to their ignition interlock devices. These cameras collect evidence of who is blowing into the device. Ignition interlock devices also have heat sensors as a way to prevent people from using compressed air to pass the breath test.
Ignition interlock devices are updated frequently with new features to help prevent new methods of circumnavigation. Ignition interlock devices have been proven to dramatically reduce the rates of repeat DUI offenses. This helps to reduce alcohol related accidents and deaths, and helps the DUI offender from incurring the penalties of multiple DUIs. The benefits of ignition interlock devices are numerous. Confronting ignition interlock device circumvention and tampering is a matter of high importance and public safety.