Having an ignition interlock system on one’s vehicle may give him or her permission to drive after a drunk driving conviction. However, it also comes with requirements the driver must take seriously. Failing to comply with the rules of the ignition interlock program can result in the inconvenience of having one’s vehicle ignition locked, but it can also lead to serious legal consequences.
The device locks a vehicle’s ignition if it registers alcohol on the breath of the driver who blows into the mouthpiece before starting the engine. Similarly, the driver must provide random rolling samples. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the vehicle will begin to flash its lights and honk its horn until the driver pulls over. Most interlock systems fail a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 or higher. Other violations include the following:
- Having someone else provide a breath sample for the driver
- Ignoring the system’s alert to provide a rolling test
- Attempting to disconnect or damage the device
- Missing a scheduled service appointment for recalibration and transmission of the device’s records
Occasionally an ignition interlock system registers a false failure. This may occur after a driver has consumed certain foods, energy drinks or medications. A certain number of failed tests may permanently lock a vehicle’s engine, requiring a visit from a service technician or having the vehicle towed to the service provider. This can be expensive as well as potentially resulting in legal consequences, such as loss of driving privileges, fines or jail.