A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol may expose you to a few different penalties, including the loss of your driving privileges. Fortunately, you may be able to apply for an ignition interlock permit.
With this permit, you may drive only vehicles that have ignition interlock devices installed on them. Here are answers to three common questions about these devices.
1. Are ignition interlock devices accurate?
During your DUI stop, an officer may have asked you to breathe into a testing device. The ignition interlock device on your vehicle is probably not as accurate as the officer’s breath test.
Your car’s interlock device has fuel cell censors, which make them cheaper to mass produce. The officer’s testing device, by contrast, uses infrared sensors to measure your blood alcohol concentration.
Consequently, you may have a greater chance of receiving a false-positive reading from the interlock device on your vehicle than from an officer’s device. Still, if you consume no alcohol before trying to drive, ignition interlock devices are usually accurate.
2. Do outside factors affect the device?
Like with a roadside breath test, outside factors may cause an ignition interlock device to produce unreliable results. Your diet, medications, medical conditions and even personal hygiene products may cause the device erroneously to believe you have alcohol in your system.
3. Do ignition interlock devices require calibration?
For your ignition interlock device to function correctly, you must routinely take your vehicle to a service center for calibration. If you fail to do so, the device may malfunction. You may also violate program rules for not regularly calibrating your device.
Ultimately, complying with the interlock device requirement is up to you. Therefore, if you believe your device has malfunctioned, you may need to act quickly to protect your driving privileges.