An ignition interlock device is a type of breathalyzer test that is installed in a motorist’s vehicle when they have been convicted of driving under the influence. The device prevents the vehicle from starting unless the motorist passes a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test.

Upon entering the vehicle, the driver must blow a clean BAC reading in order for the car to start. The misconception is that drivers must be under the legal limit of .08 percent. However, an ignition interlock device BAC meter is usually set around .02-.04 percent, meaning if the driver has one beer, it may be enough to prevent them from starting their car.

When are Ignition Interlock Devices Issued?

While ignition interlock devices are usually reserved for repeat offenders, some states may impose the device for a first-time DUI conviction. The BAC level at the time of arrest as well as whether the DUI resulted in bodily harm or death can also influence whether a motorist will be required to install the device. Those who are ordered to install the device are also responsible for paying for the installation, as well as monthly fees which may cost a few hundred dollars.

As an increasing number of states move toward stricter DUI penalties, it is important for anyone arrested for driving under the influence to seek legal help. Having a DUI lawyer on your side can mean the difference between having to install an ignition interlock device and being offered a community service option instead.