The basics of ignition interlock devices

On Behalf of | Nov 21, 2022 | Drunk Driving |

Of the many different potential repercussions that come along with driving while intoxicated, the mandated use of an ignition interlock device is one of the most well-known.

These devices ensure a driver cannot commit another DUI act while on probation. Thus, it is crucial to understand how these devices (IIDs) work.

How IIDs work

The Missouri Department of Transportation takes a look at ignition interlock devices. First: what are they? They serve a similar purpose to breath analysis devices, and they get installed directly into a person’s car.

IIDs have a GPS system and dashboard monitor that track a driver’s location and can tell when they attempt to start the car. Any time a driver does put the key in the ignition, they must exhale into a tube that connects to the device itself. The car will only start after it is confirmed that a person does not have alcohol on their breath.

What information does it store?

IIDs store a lot more information than most people think. This includes BAC levels, lockouts and any start-up attempts that failed. IIDs also require rolling retests, in which the system demands a driver to exhale again while driving. If alcohol is detected on the breath while the car is in motion, it will slowly power off.

As far as the actual process of getting an IID goes, a person must have a licensed dealer install it and go in for monthly maintenance checks. The IID will be calibrated and all stored information gets collected and used in reports at this point, which will later be used to determine if a driver has followed their penalty terms appropriately.


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