What is an ignition interlock device?

If you have been charged and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in Missouri, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. In Missouri, and in many other states across the nation, there are certain repercussions following a DUI. In a case where there is a first-time offender, the judge may use his or her discretion when ordering use of an ignition interlock device. When you have more than one DUI charge, you must have a device installed in your vehicle for at least six months once you get your driver’s license reinstated. What are ignition interlock devices and how do they keep you from driving under the influence?

Interlock devices are installed directly into the ignition system of your vehicle and include a dashboard monitor. Some devices may also include a camera. Before you can start your vehicle, you must blow a breath sample into a tube that is connected to the device. The machine then evaluates your blood alcohol content level and determines whether you are under a preset limit. If you pass, your vehicle will start, and you are able to drive. While you are driving, however, you will be prompted to submit periodic breath samples to ensure you are still under the limit. If at any time your breath sample reads over the limit, your vehicle will either alert you to pull over and stop or it will not start in the first place.

All of the information, including breath sample results and failed startup attempts, is recorded in the device and transmitted to officials at your IID maintenance appointment.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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