DUI


Ignition Interlock Background At A Glance

Ignition Interlock Background At A Glance

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Ignition Interlock Background At A Glance

An ignition interlock is a device that was created to prevent people from driving under the influence of alcohol, therefore preventing accidents and deaths. An ignition interlock device is an apparatus that is installed on the dashboard of a motor vehicle. The device requires the driver to breathe into it, much like a breathalyzerstateThe ignition interlock device is made up of a sensor that utilizes an ethanol-specific fuel cell through which the alcohol endures a chemical oxidation reaction at a catalytic electrode surface, generating an electric current. The electric current that is made, is then measured and converted into alcohol equivalent reading. During its function, the driver will be required to breathe into the ignition interlock device, providing it with a breath sample. Once the breath sample is clean, the engine will start and the person is ready to drive. If the breath sample contains a higher BAC than the one set on it, the engine will not start until it receives a clean breath sample. Some people think they can bypass the device by having a friend breathe into it for them, and once the engine starts they are home free. This is false, the device can ask for a reading during operation to verify its results. Should the reading come back above the BAC limit, the car will set off alarms such as flashing lights or horns honking, alerting people (mainly police officers) until the car is safely pulled over and shut off. People once believed that if it read while driving and the result came back that way, that the car would simply shut off. This is absurd for many reasons, it would pose safety issues for not only the driver but also the drivers around him if the engine simply shut off on a highway. That is why the device does not have the power to shut off the car engine, simply to impede it from starting. Doing so doesn’t mean that the person gets away with it though. Since these devices are mainly court ordered, they are checked and calibrated at 30-90 day intervals. The device logs any data into the vehicles electrical system of its activity, and this activity is downloaded every time the device is calibrated. If the activity shows some violations, a judge can impose additional penalties for the offender.

 These devices have been used as an alternative to sentencing in almost all of the United States’ 50 states, and are imposed as well in Canada. More and more DUI offenders are being required to install these devices in their vehicles, especially repeat offenders. The devices themselves are said to cost about $75 US Dollars to maintain, which is usually paid for by the offender (similar to ankle bracelets for people under house arrest).

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