Ignition Interlock Devices: Should You Have One?

Many people who get an ignition interlock device (IID) are required to do so by law, either because they have been found guilty of a DUI or are in the process of fighting such a charge. Other people may consider having one installed to prevent driving while intoxicated. All drivers should investigate whether this device will be best for their particular situation.

DUI Arrest

Most states now allow judges to impose an IID installation when you are arrested for your first DUI offense. You may find that punishment rather severe for a first-time offender, but unless you successfully fight your arrest, an IID purchase may be in your immediate future. These devices are not particularly inconvenient: you just need to blow into the device so that it can measure the amount of alcohol in your blood stream. If your BAC is too high, your vehicle will not start. The biggest issue for many people is the cost. Installation and monthly rental fees can be almost $2000 each year. Of course, you will also have to pay court fines as well. If you hope to avoid an IID, you need to immediately hire an experienced DUI attorney to examine the details of your arrest and fight it if possible.


Even if you are not required to have an IID on your vehicle, you may want to voluntarily install one. Experts estimate that having these devices on every new vehicle would reduce alcohol-related vehicle accidents by 85%. Also, drunk driving injuries would be reduced by well over a million injuries. Although many people see this move as punishing the innocent, it would be an effective preventative move. 

If you personally feel that you have an alcohol issue or that someone in your family does, having the device installed can help keep them and others safe. The initial investment is significant, but the cost of a DUI is quite high financially and emotionally. The IID is an easy way to remove the risk of driving while intoxicated. 

Ignition interlock devices are a somewhat controversial topic.They clearly have advantages, but some people find them unnecessarily punitive. If you want to avoid having one installed after an arrest, you need the help of an excellent attorney. On the other hand, you may want to voluntarily install one to protect your family. No matter how you feel about these devices now, take the time to research them before deciding whether to fight them or embrace them.