Does Your Ignition Interlock Device Meet the Standard?

ignition interlockWhen you have an ignition interlock requirement as a result of a drunk driving conviction, you probably want to get through the experience as quickly as possible. Since you have the ignition interlock device (IID), you already know you’re not going to be drinking and driving again (not that you would, anyway), so your own compliance isn’t a factor in delaying its removal. It should be a smooth process, especially with the right IID service provider, and you’ll be back on the road to sober driving before you know it, as long as the device itself meets all requirements.

So, how do you know the device you’re using is the right type of IID?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has (NHTSA) outlined its recommendations for the different aspects of an ignition interlock program, including device specifications. Based upon research, these recommendations provide the best outcome for you during your IID requirement period:

  1. A breath alcohol sensor that will “lockout” your attempt to drive your car if your blood alcohol content (BAC) tests above a pre-determined level (usually .02 – .025 BAC).
  2. A “rolling retest” every 20-30 minutes to ensure you are the person driving, or that the driver of your car is sober.
  3. A tamper-proof system that can detect any device circumvention or bypass and records the information.
  4. Data storage and reporting capability to log your BAC, whether you’re driving the vehicle, and other considerations to prove your compliance in an ignition interlock program.

When you have an ignition interlock requirement, you want to do your part to ensure that you are able to fulfill all of the court’s directives, including having the right type of equipment. Your ignition interlock service provider should be able to explain the details of your device, how the monitoring and reporting works, and ensure you that the device is compliant with your state’s program. The time you spend with an IID doesn’t have to be frustrating, and once you’ve completed your sentence, you will be back on the road to better, more responsible choices.

Source: Key Features for Ignition Interlock Programs [PDF]

A New Year and New Ignition Interlock Recommendation

nhtsaWith statistics that not only show the numerous times a convicted drunk driver has driven prior to his or her day in court, and the success rate of ignition interlock devices, it makes sense to have standard laws that require the devices for any first DUI/DWI offense. Detroit News reports that a recent recommendation by the NHTSA confirms the safety issue involved with drunk drivers and ignition interlock devices, urging all states to require the mandatory installation of the devices on any vehicles driven by a convicted offender. Read more here: NHTSA wants states to require ignition interlocks for first-time drunken drivers

Hardcore Drunk Drivers Get Spotlight

SpotlightThe term, “Hardcore Drunk Driver” may bring up a caricature of a person who is out of control after having consumed too much alcohol, but, it is these actual people who are being singled out for contributing to the rise in fatal car accidents due to drinking and driving. According to the Wall Street Journal, the NHTSA recently released data that showed the rate of deaths due to drunk drivers is on the rise – especially when it involves a person with a BAC level of .15% or higher. These numbers may be enough to get some states to reevaluate their own consequences for DUI/DWI. Read more here: NHTSA Data Confirms “Hardcore” Drunk Drivers Still Remain Highest Priority for Eliminating Drunk Driving Fatalities

New Survey Could Indicate Future Mandatory Ignition Interlocks

For those convicted of a DUI or DWI, one of the consequences faced is the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device. reports that has released a recent survey that indicates the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has teamed up with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) in order to study the feasibility of integrating alcohol-detection devices in all vehicles.  This survey will be conducted by phone, with interviews of 1,000 licensed drivers across the country. Read more here:  NHTSA asks America how they feel about in-car alcohol detection

Not All Youth Traffic Fatalities are Alcohol Related

With new data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), statistics show that only about a third of underage alcohol-related fatalities are attributed to drunk driving accidents. YouthToday reports that these statistics are important for all parents, teachers and youth leaders to understand, citing that out of the 4,700 alcohol-related deaths for people aged 15-20, the majority were not vehicle-related, and that alcohol-related suicides and alcohol poisoning were also considerations. Read more here: MADD Says Drunk Driving Deaths Represent Only a Third of All Underage Alcohol Fatalities


Top 8 Ignition Interlock Device Q&A

With the resources available today, you can find out a lot of information very quickly about ignition interlock devices. Unfortunately some of what you hear and read is simply not true. Below are some very common questions and answers regarding interlock devices.

1.       Isn’t an interlock device really expensive?

The average daily cost of an ignition interlock device is less than a café grande in a coffee shop or a drink in a bar. Also, if you are unable to pay for a device, our expert agents will be able to tell you whether your state may be able to offset some of the costs through a special state fund set aside for those who need it.

2.    Do ignition interlock devices record false positives? exclusively uses devices approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which has set strict standards for accuracy in testing BAC. Before installation, your interlock device will be calibrated to meet the requirements of your individualized program and maintained throughout the probation period.

Top 8 Ignition Interlock Device Q&A3.    Will I be required to breathe into the device while driving?

You are never required to test while operating a vehicle. If the device signals you for a test it automatically allows time for you to pull off to the side and stop. These “running tests” are easy and fast to complete so you can be back on the road in just a couple of minutes.

4.    Do I have to have a device installed if I have breathing issues?

The ignition interlock device is designed to work for those that have asthma or other health conditions that prevent the ability to take deep breaths. With approval from the court and your physician, the installer can adjust the settings on your device to reduce the required breath pressure if needed. Check with your service provider first to determine if the default pressure requires adjustments.

5.    Will my vehicle’s battery be damaged by an interlock device?

Very little power from your car’s battery is used to power the device for a test. Use of an ignition interlock will not drain or damage car batteries.

6.    If I fail a test will the engine of my car stop while I’m driving down the street?

The ignition interlock device will not turn off your car while it is running. Some states require that the car produce a signal such as flashing lights or horn honking if you fail a test while the car is on and the signal will not stop until the car is off or until you pass a test.

7.    Will mouthwash or chewing gum mess with the test results?
We advise device users who use mouthwash or chew gum to rinse their mouths with water prior to testing. Users are also advised to use mouthwash that is clearly labeled as having no alcohol and rinse with water before testing to avoid any issues. Also be aware of the alcohol contents of any gum that you may chew as any trace of alcohol will cause the test to fail.

8.    Will the interlock device decrease the resale value of my truck?

Our service technicians are experts in vehicle wiring. The device will be installed professionally and when they remove it, the wiring will be restored to its former state so that the device will have no impact on your vehicle’s resale.

For additional information on ignition interlock devices, please visit us at