What To Do If Your Interlock Device Gets Stolen

January 31, 2019

If your interlock device was stolen, don’t panic! Having to use an ignitioninterlock device (IID) can be stressful in itself, and the potential fornon-compliance as a result of someone else’s actions can be difficult to dealwith. In this article, we’ll outline the steps you should take if you ever findthat someone has stolen your ignition interlock device. Maintaining compliancewith your ignition interlock device program’s requirements is essential togetting your full driving privileges back and moving on with your life.Navigating a scenario where your IID has been stolen from your vehicle can beparticularly stressful, but it is necessary to do so in the correct manner toavoid non-compliance with your program’s requirements.

What is an IID?

An ignition interlock device, commonly shortened to IID, is a device that is used to detect the presence of alcohol. The device is integrated into a vehicle’s ignition and allows the vehicle to start only when a breath sample has been provided and passed. A key factor here is that IID’s are integrated into a vehicle’s ignition, which we’ll return to when speaking about a stolen IID.

Although no one wants to take part in an IID program, they exist for a number of very good reasons. One of the main reasons is that they reduce the rate of recidivism for driving under the influence (DUI) convictions. Many people who are arrested for a DUI are subsequently arrested again. In order to help reduce the rate of people who have already been convicted of a DUI from operating a vehicle under the influence, the court sometimes chooses to use an IID. By integrating an IID into a car’s ignition, instances where an individual operates a vehicle under the influence are reduced. IID’s don’t eliminate this possibility. There are ways to circumvent the use of an IID, but these are severely penalized as part of an IID program.

A positive benefit of an IID program is that it allows an individual who has been convicted of a DUI to continue operating their motor vehicle for the duration of their probation. Prior to the use of IID’s, most people who had a license suspended simply had to find alternative means of transportation. For individuals who drive for a living, or who have lengthy commutes, this could result in loss of income or financial hardship. IID programs allow these individuals to continue operating their vehicles provided they adhere to their IID program requirements.

Stolen IID’s

You might wonder why someone would steal an IID. The truth is, we’re wondering thesame thing. There isn’t an obvious reason that someone would steal an IID. Theyhave essentially zero market value since they must be installed in a vehicle bya professional, and they reduce the convenience of any vehicle that they areinstalled in. They must also be calibrated regularly by a service center,rendering them useless after a short period of time without proper calibration.The only reason someone might steal an IID is that they don’t know what it isand they perceive it as valuable. The good news is that this makes itsignificantly less likely your IID will be stolen.

If someone breaks into your car, chances are they will simply ignore your IID andmove on. If they do end up stealing your IID, your first step should be to callthe police. The reality is that without your IID installed, your vehicle won’tstart. You’ll want to file a police report anyways for the IID and any othervaluables that were lost. Next, you’ll have to call customer service to arrangefor a replacement IID to be installed. Customer service representatives will beable to walk you through the next steps, which will involve bringing yourvehicle to a service center to have a replacement IID installed. You will mostlikely have to have your vehicle towed to the nearest service center.

Having your ignition interlock device stolen can be a huge inconvenience, but it isn’tthe end of the world. You’ll have to file a police report first, which youshould do anyway if your car is broken into. You’ll then want to talk tocustomer service who will guide you through the rest of the process. It’simportant to keep in mind that just because your device was stolen doesn’tallow you to operate a vehicle without a device installed. You’ll need to getthe device re-installed before operating your vehicle again. In the meantime,don’t borrow a friend or family member’s car that doesn’t have an IID deviceinstalled, as this will result in a serious violation of your IID program. Ifyou have any questions, be sure to contact Low Cost Interlock or the agencythat supervises your IID program.


  1. https://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/impaired_driving/pdf/811246.pdf
  2. https://one.nhtsa.gov/Driving-Safety/Impaired-Driving/The-Use-of-Alcohol-Ignition-Interlocks-for-Reducing-Impaired-Driving-Recidivism
  3. https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.dot.gov/files/documents/ignitioninterlocks_811883_0.pdf

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