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How do ignition interlock devices work?

If you are facing charges for driving under the influence of alcohol, your paramount concern may be a possible fine or jail sentence. Eventually, though, you may have to deal with some DUI-related life consequences, including the loss of your driving privileges.

In Massachusetts, those with DUI convictions are often able to restore their driving privileges by installing ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.

An in-vehicle breath test

An ignition interlock device installs on your vehicle’s ignition system. Before you may start your vehicle, you must provide an alcohol-free breath sample. You must also submit to rolling breath tests during your trip. With these, you receive an alert and must breathe into the testing device within five minutes.

If you fail either the initial test or a rolling one, your vehicle’s engine refuses to engage. The ignition interlock device also sends a report to officials, notifying them of your possible violation. Regrettably, a violation of your ignition interlock requirement may trigger a long-term suspension of your driving privileges.

A costly solution

If not being able to drive causes you hardship, installing an ignition interlock device on your car, truck or SUV may be the solution. Still, this option is expensive. In fact, the cost to install a device on your vehicle is likely to be more than $100. You also must pay a monthly maintenance fee.

Consequently, for the two years you probably must have the device on your vehicle, you may pay upwards of $2,000. While you may have to make financial sacrifices to comply with the Bay State’s ignition interlock rules, restoring your driving privileges ultimately may be worth the expense.