A Comprehensive Guide to Interlock Devices: Features and Advantages

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If you’ve ever heard of “interlock devices” and wondered what they are all about, you’re in the right place. If you’ve been wondering where to get an interlock, this guide tells you more about them and what features to look for.

How Does an Interlock Device Work?

Using an interlock device is pretty simple, but its impact is profound. Here’s a quick run-through of how they work:

  1. Give a Puff: Before reviving the engine, you’ll need to blow into a tube linked to the device. It’ll check your breath for any alcohol traces.
  2. Alcohol Check: The device will gauge the booze level in your breath. If you’re below the set threshold (usually around 0.02% or 0.04%), you’re good to go, and your car starts up. But if you’re over? Well, the car stays put.
  3. Surprise Checks: Now, just because you’ve started your journey doesn’t mean the device goes silent. Nope, it’ll occasionally ask for on-the-spot breath tests. When it does, you’ll need to safely park and blow into the tube again. This ensures you stay sober throughout your ride.
  4. Data Logging: The interlock device also keeps a record of all breath samples, test results, and any attempts to tamper with or bypass the system. This data is typically stored and can be accessed by authorities or monitoring agencies.

Features of Interlock Devices

Interlock devices come equipped with various features to enhance their effectiveness and usability. Let’s take a closer look at some of these features:

1. Accuracy and Precision

Modern interlock devices are highly accurate and precise in measuring BAC levels. They can differentiate between alcohol in the breath and other substances, reducing false positives.

2. Tamper Detection

Interlock devices are designed to detect any attempts at tampering or circumventing the system. For example, blowing into the device on behalf of the driver is detected and recorded.

3. User-Friendly Interface

Most interlock devices have user-friendly interfaces with simple instructions displayed on a screen.

4. Reporting and Monitoring

Interlock devices store data on breath tests, violations, and other relevant information. Authorities and monitoring agencies can access this data for compliance checks and reporting.

5. Rolling Retests

Random rolling retests are a key feature of interlock devices. They help ensure that the driver remains sober throughout their journey, preventing someone from having a sober individual start the vehicle and then taking over.

6. Vehicle Immobilization

In cases of repeated failed tests or tampering attempts, interlock devices can temporarily immobilize the vehicle, preventing further attempts to drive while impaired.

7. GPS Integration

Some advanced interlock devices come with GPS integration, allowing authorities to track the vehicle’s location and movements.

How to Get an Interlock Device

If you’ve been required by a court to install an interlock device, here’s a basic guide on how to go about it:

  1. Court Order: The first step is to obtain a court order that mandates the installation of an interlock device. This order will specify the duration of the requirement and any other relevant details.
  2. Choose a Provider: Research and select an approved interlock device provider in your area. Ensure that they are certified and compliant with local regulations.
  3. Installation: Schedule an appointment with the chosen provider to have the interlock device installed in your vehicle.
  4. Calibration and Maintenance: Interlock devices require periodic calibration and maintenance to ensure accurate readings. Follow the maintenance schedule provided by the provider.
  5. Comply with Testing Requirements: It’s crucial to comply with all testing requirements, including random retests while driving. ​
  6. Complete the Program: Once the court-mandated period is over, return to the provider to have the interlock device removed from your vehicle.

Common Myths and Misconceptions

Myth 1: Interlock devices are only for repeat offenders.

Fact: While interlock devices are often required for repeat DUI offenders, they can also be mandated for first-time offenders, especially if the BAC level was extremely high at the time of arrest.

Myth 2: Interlock devices are easy to trick.

Fact: Modern interlock devices have advanced tamper detection technology, making it extremely difficult to bypass or trick the system.

Myth 3: Interlock devices can malfunction and cause false positives.

Fact: Interlock devices are designed to be highly accurate, and false positives are rare. Any issues with the device’s performance can usually be resolved through maintenance and calibration.

Myth 4: Interlock devices are intrusive and violate privacy.

Fact: Interlock devices do not record conversations or monitor personal activities. They are solely focused on preventing impaired driving.


With their advanced features and numerous advantages, they serve as a valuable tool for rehabilitating individuals convicted of DUI and DWI offenses. By complying with court orders and using interlock devices responsibly, individuals can not only fulfill their legal obligations but also contribute to safer roads for all.

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