Drunk driving continues to be a severe problem throughout the country. According to the CDC, 28 people die every single day from alcohol-impairing driving crashes, averaging to about one death every 51 minutes.
DUIs have become a common and useful tool for reducing incidents of drunk driving and the consequences associated with the act. In 2015 alone, about 1.1 million people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. If you are arrested for a DUI, you will likely face a variety of penalties from the criminal court and the Department of Motor Vehicles.
These penalties usually involve a license suspension, fines, community service hours, and enrollment in a drug and alcohol treatment program. However, many states have begun to adopt the use of ignition interlock devices as an additional penalty, even for first-time DUI offenses. Let’s take a closer look at the use and cost of ignition interlock devices.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
If you have gotten a DUI, it is important that you understand how a breathalyzer works in a car (How Does a Breathalyzer Work In a Car?). An ignition interlock device is a tool designed to ensure your ongoing safety and prevent you from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
The device connects directly to your car’s ignition system. In order to start your car, you have to blow into a mouthpiece that connects to the device. If your breath sample shows an alcohol level that is higher than the limit programmed into the device, it will lock your engine and prevent you from starting it for a given amount of time.
Along with providing breath samples in order to start your car, the device will also periodically require breath samples while you are driving. These are known as rolling retests, which are designed to prevent someone other than the person driving from providing a breath sample, thereby circumventing the ignition system. If you don’t provide a breath sample for the rolling retest or if the breath sample exceeds the programmed alcohol level, the device records the event in its system, warns the driver, and sets off an alarm (honking horn, flashing lights). The only way to turn the alarm off is to provide a clean breath sample or turn the ignition off. Contrary to popular belief, ignition interlock devices, or car breathalyzers do not have an automatic engine shut off feature, meaning that it cannot suddenly stop your car or cut your engine, which would be dangerous for you and other drivers.
Ignition interlock devices also keep an ongoing record of activities that can be printed out or downloaded during regular calibrations, which happen on a 30-, 60-, or 90-day interval. The court can request these logs every so often to see if you have been staying clean. If the court does find any violations, they can further suspend your license or add secondary penalties.
How Much Does an Ignition Interlock Device Cost?
If you are required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, you should understand that that means you are responsible for all of the costs associated with owning and operating that device. The costs can vary based on the state and the vendor, but the general breakdown involves:
- Installation – Initial ignition interlock device installation fees can generally range from about $70 to $150.
- Monthly fees – Calibration and maintenance should occur about once a month. This ensures that your device is in proper working order and only provides accurate readings, which helps both you and the court. These monthly fees can range from $60 to $150.
- Removal – Once you have successfully completed your ignition interlock device program, you can finally remove the device from your car, but even that will cost you. The fee can range from $50 to $100.
These fees can seem daunting to some, especially considering other fines and fees you may have to pay for your DUI. Thankfully, some courts may provide financial assistance for your ignition interlock device.
Unlike other service providers, Low Cost Interlock offers $0 set up, $0 shipping, and $0 installation. We provides the most affordable ignition interlock services throughout the country, so even without financial assistance from the court, you can pay for your ignition interlock device without worrying about breaking the bank. If you have questions or need an ignition interlock device installed today, please don’t hesitate to contact our Low Cost Interlock customer service today.