An ignition interlock is a piece of equipment placed on a DUI offenders vehicle, usually near the driver's seat, designed to detect the blood alcohol concentration of the driver. The driver must blow into the interlock before the vehicle can be started.
The interlock has a pre-set limit of 0.05. If circumstances require, judges have discretion to set a lower limit. If the interlock determines the driver's blood-alcohol content is below the limit, the vehicle can be started. Likewise, if the BAC is above the limit, the vehicle will not start.
The interlock also conducts random rechecks throughout a drive to ensure unauthorized drivers did not provide the breath sample. The first recheck is conducted within the first five minutes of vehicle operation. Additional rechecks are conducted between 15 and 30 minutes after that.
Interlocks are placed on vehicles for six months for first time offenders who either blow a BAC of 0.15 or higher while driving or are driving with a minor when the offense occurs. Second time offenders are required to use the device for between one and two years. A third offense requires use of the interlock for at least two years.
Interlock Cost and Operation
Interlocks usually cost around $70 plus tax for the initial installation and $67.50 plus tax for monitoring every month. These costs are the responsibility of the DUI offender.
Interlocks must be placed on each vehicle the driver currently owns and operates regularly. If the driver does not currently own a vehicle, the interlocks can be placed on any vehicle the driver operates regularly. This is required for driver's license reinstatement.
Installation of interlocks is done at authorized service centers. Maintenance appointments for the interlocks are required every couple of months after the initial installation. If a driver moves out of state the service center will coordinate with a service center in the driver's new state to continue routine maintenance.
Drivers must make sure to not use mouthwash before blowing into an interlock because it will detect the alcohol in the mouthwash. If the mouthwash results in a level over the limit, the mouth should be rinsed with water and the driver can then blow again at the five minute recheck.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or someone you love is facing charges for DUI, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. A criminal defense lawyer can assess your case and help you protect your rights. For more information, contact an attorney today.