What You Need to Know About Vehicle Ignition Interlock Devices

vehicle interlock device-facts
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on linkedin

A vehicle ignition interlock device serves as a monitor that will prevent a recently drunk driver from getting behind the wheel under the influence.

All states have different programs that use these devices for drivers who operated a vehicle while intoxicated.

Thousands of people die in the U.S roadways in accidents caused by drunk or drugged drivers. And while millions of drunk drivers are arrested every year, the National Highway Traffic Administration estimates that only 1% of all drunk drivers end up arrested and the rest of them keep driving while intoxicated. And things to be worse, these drivers repeat the offences.

If you were arrested and charged for DUI, there is a big chance that you will have to install this device on your vehicle. It’s best that you contact a Portland DUI lawyer as soon as you get arrested for drunk driving.


Is the Vehicle Ignition Interlock Device Mandatory?

 If you’re a first time offender who has a high level of blood alcohol concentration, you can volunteer to have an interlock device; also the court may require you to install one. In some cases the interlock device is optional.

In Oregon, the law requires convicted drivers or DUI drivers to have their driving privileges suspended. In most cases, the driver will have to install a vehicle ignition interlock device. The driver is responsible for all the costs with the installation and maintenance of the ignition interlock device.

In states where the device is optional, many drivers volunteer to participate so they can retain their driving privileges faster.

How The Device Works

The state DMV will contract or certified companies to install and monitor the ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Various companies make various versions of the device.

The ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer which is a handheld device that is installed into your vehicle’s ignition wires. So, before you start the car, you will have to blow into the tube so the computer can check if there is any alcohol in your blood. If it shows that there is alcohol in your system, the car won’t start.

Many devices will lock down the ignition for half an hour before letting you take another test. During driving, the system will call for another testing, which can be safely done by blowing into the tube. Since, it’s dangerous to shut down a vehicle while you drive, if the system detects alcohol, the device will cause the horn to go off and the lights will flash until the vehicle is turned off.

If you have the device installed on your car and you fail a test, that will be registered on the interlock computer. The computer is read every month by the monitoring site; if you have failed tests, the info will be forwarded to the DMV (along with the registration time and date).

Every device manufacturer offers a different breathalyser type. The test is made to be interactive to prevent circumvention by using other methods or mechanical devices.

Many people think they can ask another person to blow into the breathalyzer for them; however to prevent this, the manufacturers design devices that use your fingerprint ID or take a picture of you during the test.

So it’s pretty much impossible to trick the device anyhow.

Learn How to Use It

When installing this device, talk to the person who is installing it and ask them to show you how to use it properly. It’s very probable that you’re getting a device that was used by someone else; that, of course, isn’t sanitary (especially now during the pandemics). Ask for extra breathing tubes that are new and clean.

Some devices require you to blow, inhale back the breath in and then blow out again to prevent false blows. If the device isn’t used correctly the car won’t start until you do the test right.

Keep in mind that some foods may lead to a positive test so you may create a problem. Even though most devices are reliable, there is a chance that it registers a false positive after you’ve eaten certain foods. Also, some health conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis may show a false positive test.

If you end up with a vehicle ignition interlock device, be sure to ask your attorney every question you want an answer to.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Oregon, our team at FBD Law is here for you; contact us now.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on linkedin


Who Will Be At Fault if You Hit a Drunk Pedestrian
How DUI Charges Can Affect Your Life
What You Need to Know About Driving Children While Intoxicated
How to Know if Your Driver’s License Was Suspended

Law Firm

compass arrows



Lisa Breuer
I've known Aaron for several years, and while I've never needed an attorney for my own legal needs, he'd the the first one I'd contact if the situation ever arose. As a member on an interview panel for an attorney position years ago, I was thoroughly impressed with not only his professional background, but his sharp mind for legal matters, as well as his strong work ethic. I think a person will be very well represented if they hire Aaron Tribble for their legal needs.
Stephen Butterfield
Great Experience! Joe went above and beyond to take care of my all my needs and concerns. He was great with communication, and keeping me posted with everything going on, on a regular basis. I would highly recommend Joe Frick Law, The Boise DUI guy!!! Thanks for everything!
Ramandeep Kaur
I highly recommend Boise DUI Guy. I was very depressed and unsure of what to do after the DUI charges. Thanks to Joe for helping me out from such an serious legal issue. I would like to say thank you to Boise DUI Lawyer and I appreciate the work that was done with my case. Great experience dealing with you.