Interlock Device History

An ignition interlock device is a small mechanism that is installed on the dashboard of a vehicle operated by someone who has been convicted of a DUI. This contraption requires the operator of the vehicle to blow into it in order to have his or her breath tested for alcohol. The vehicle will not turn on if the individual blows a BAC over a specified limit or fails to blow into the contraption. Some systems are set up to sound an alarm or alert a probation officer if a high BAC reading is recorded. For devices that do not turn on the vehicle due to a high BAC, the user can expect a short lockout period for a few minutes. However, if he or she continues to provide a sample with a high BAC, the lockout period may be extended.

Emergency of the Device

The ignition interlock device debuted in the early 1970s. However, it took time before these devices came part of the arsenal of penalties that individuals convicted of DUI were subjected to. It was not until the mid-1980s that the device became common place for convicted DUI offenders.

Current Use of Ignition Interlock Devices

Since its emergence, 35 states have introduced