Driven to get results!

What is an ignition interlock device?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Driving under the influence is a serious offense that puts the driver at risk and endangers the lives of others on the road. To curb drunk driving, Pennsylvania, like many states, has implemented ignition interlock devices as a preventive measure and a part of sentencing guidelines for those convicted of DUI offenses.

An ignition interlock device, or IID, is a small device installed in a vehicle that requires the driver to provide a breath sample before the car’s ignition can be started. Failure to pass the test locks the ignition, making it impossible for the driver to operate the vehicle under the influence.

How an ignition interlock device works

Once installed, the IID is hardwired into your vehicle’s ignition system. To start the car, you’ll need to blow into the device. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the preset limit, usually 0.02%, the device will prevent the car from starting. Random retests will also occur while you’re driving to ensure continued sobriety.

The cost of having an IID

While the concept sounds simple, several costs are associated with installing an IID. First, you’ll likely have to pay for the device’s installation. There’s a monthly rental fee, maintenance and calibration costs. These expenses are out-of-pocket and aren’t covered by vehicle insurance.

Impact on your driving record

Having an IID installed in your vehicle can significantly impact your driving record and auto insurance premiums. Insurance companies view the need for an IID as a high-risk behavior and adjust your premiums accordingly. 

The time you’ll be required to install an IID depends on several factors, including the severity of the DUI offense and whether it’s your first offense or a repeat one. The possibility of an IID will likely be a factor in your defense strategy against the drunk driving charge.