Ignition interlock deviceHow do ignition interlock systems work?

The device is about the size of a cell phone. It is connected to the starter or the ignition, and in order for the DUI offender to start his or her vehicle, he must breath into the device. There is a pre-set limit for the driver’s BAC, usually .02%. If the tester registers above this pre-set limit, the car will not start. There is a circuit that connects the ignition switch and the starter system. (Remember, the ignition interlock system is not connected the engine, so it will not affect a running car.) If the breath sample is not provided, no power will reach the starter system. If the proper breath sample is given, the ignition interlock will close the circuit and the power will be provided to the car. Throughout the trip, the driver must provide breath samples to the device. If the driver fails a breath sample, the violation will be recorded and sent to the DUI offender’s probation officer or the judge.

The system does work, and if a DUI offender tries to tamper with the device, it will register as a violation. Violations are recorded, and DUI offenders who try and shirk the system are punished. Remember, these devices are becoming more widely used as punishment.

How are ignition interlock systems installed?

The system should be installed by a licensed professional. It should take about 45 minutes to 2 hours to install, depending on the vehicle. During the installation, the offender will receive instructions on how to perform the proper breath test.

How do ignition interlock systems affect the DUI offender’s family?

Most family members are in favor of the system since it allows for the family to function normally. Taking away the license of one driver in a family can negatively affect children, finances and everyday way of life. Ignition interlock systems allow the family to continue to get where it needs to go without interruption. But of course, there is the added assurance that the DUI offender will not be driving with alcohol in his or her system, without punishing the offender’s family members.


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