Each year, more than 10,000 people die in drunk driving related accidents, and damage to life and property amounts to $59 million annually. As a result, every state takes this issue very seriously. All 50 states have laws permitting the use of ignition interlock devices, also known as car breathalyzers, in the sentencing of DUI offenders, and ten states actually mandate the use of ignition interlock devices in sentencing. Arizona in particular requires an interlock device to be installed for at least six months for all DUI offenses.
If you are mandated to use an interlock device, here is what you need to know.
You are responsible for footing the bill
The cost of the interlock device, as well as cost for maintenance and recalibration, generally falls to the offender. If you’re tight on cash, look for ignition interlock companies in your area that offer payment plans.
You must use the car breathalyzer every time you start your vehicle
In order to start your car, you must first exhale into the breathalyzer and pass. What does it take to pass? Most devices are set around a .02 BAC. Some devices also require that you exhale into them while driving, to ensure that someone else did not start the car for you. If the test is failed while driving, the car’s alarm system will sound until you pull over and turn the engine off.
Despite having to use the breathalyzer every time you drive, you can maintain discretion
A discreet breathalyzer is often an invaluable thing to have to maintain your privacy and dignity as you work through your sentence. Some companies sell discreet breathalyzers that look like cups.
Interlocks are effective
Interlocks are not only effective in prevent unsafe drunk driving, they also help prevent repeat offense. Some studies show that interlocks help lower the incidence of repeat offenses by up to 39%.
It’s important to do your research before purchasing an ignition interlock device.