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Learning About Ignition Interlock Devices

February 10, 2016 Hastings and Hastings

In our last post here on the Hastings & Hastings we briefly discussed what it meant to be driving under the influence of alcohol. Towards the end of the post we mentioned that one of the penalties which may come from being convicted of a DUI or an Extreme DUI is the installation of an ignition interlock device. In today’s post, we are going to learn more about ignition interlock devices.

The very first ignition interlock devices was invented in 1969 by the Borg-Warner Corp. These very first interlock devices were primitive indeed. They were not attached to a breathalyzer as most modern interlock devices are. This is an innovation which started appearing in 1979 and eventually become standard by the mid-1980s. As of 2012, all 50 states has adopted the use of ignition interlock devices in instances of drunk driving. In many states, interlock devices are only installed if individuals are repeat offender. Here in Arizona, things are a little different. Our state has a 6 month minimum sentence for ignition interlock devices following all DUI offense, even if they did not involve any alcohol.

Since you have probably never had an ignition interlock device installed in your car, you may be curious as to how they operate. These ingenious devices use an ethanol-specific fuel cell which not only powers the devices but also functions to detect alcohol in a prospective driver’s breath. There is no tricking an ignition interlock device. They keep a detailed log of all of the readings they take. These logs are can be pulled up and accessed by law enforcement officials. Individuals who trigger their interlock devices will likely face additional legal consequences. In addition, individuals who have an interlock device installed in their car will have to pay $75 a month.