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Ignition Interlock Devices

What Is An Ignition Interlock Device?

Ignition Interlock DeviceAn ignition interlock device (IID) is a device slightly larger than a cell phone that is wired to your vehicle's ignition. The device can be installed in a vehicle while you wait and after installation, it requires your breath sample before the engine will start. If the IID detects alcohol on your breath, the engine will not start. As you drive, you are periodically required to provide breath samples to ensure the continued absence of alcohol in your system.

Can IIDs Prevent Drunk Driving?

In the United States, Canada, Sweden, and in pilot programs in Australia, interlocks are placed on the vehicles of DUI/DWI offenders under the order of a court, or through stipulation by a motor vehicle authority as part of a reinstatement requirement or a restricted driving license. Used in this way, interlock programs are targeted at proven high-risk operators. Applying a preventive countermeasure such as an interlock in this way is sometimes referred to as secondary prevention because it focuses on people who are most likely to place the public at risk with their drinking and driving. Most authorities currently using the interlock apply it to these high-risk populations.

In the aggregate, evidence spanning nearly ten years by 8 or more research groups in the U.S. and Canada point toward 40-95% reductions in recidivism while the interlock programs are in effect relative to DUI/DWI rates of matched groups of offenders who are simply suspended and should not be driving at all.

Court-Ordered IID

When the court orders use of an IID, you must have one installed by an authorized installer and provide proof of the installation to the court. The court has special forms and procedures to monitor drivers ordered to have the device installed. After the court notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), DMV marks your record so law enforcement officers will be aware of the IID requirement if you are stopped. DMV will also place a restriction on your driver license.

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