How reliable are ignition interlock systems? The answer is that thanks to modern technology, they are nearly foolproof. In fact, a convicted drunk driver will be hard-pressed to find any way to circumvent the system. This is why ignition interlock devices are such an effective way to prevent future DUI cases, and also to act as a safe and trusted punishment for convicted drunk drivers. There is no question these devices are reliable and thanks to modern technology they cannot be tricked.
There are multiple features to prevent tampering with the device itself. These include sealed wiring, temperature and pressure gauges, a data recorder, and a way to stop the driver from allowing another individual to blow into the device or to use a non-human sample (for example, a balloon).
There is one emergency override option that exists on some ignition interlock systems. This feature allows the DUI offender one chance to override the interlock system in the event of an emergency. Again, this is not available on all models of the ignition interlock.
Wouldn’t it be simple enough for the driver to just allow someone else to blow into the ignition interlock device to start the car? Yes, that would seem an easy way around the system. Then the driver could take the wheel, drunk or not, and drive where they need to go. Well one way in which ignition interlock systems make sure drivers aren’t tricking the device is by require what is called a rolling re-test. Even after the driver blows into the device, they will have to have their breath re-tested again along the way. These rolling re-tests insure that the driver behind the wheel cannot allow someone else to start the car for them. This advancement has helped secure the fact that the ignition interlock system cannot be fooled.
Another method to prevent mischief is installing camera phones. These phones actually take photos of the driver to prevent them from allowing someone else to blow into the device. Photos are sent to the convicted drunk driver’s probation officer or the judge who convicted them. The BAC measurements from the device are also sent along with the photos. This is another level of protection against trickery on the part of the driver, securing the fact that an ignition interlock device is a reliable tool to be used as a punishment for DUI.
There are even further protections against a driver circumventing the system. Ignition interlock systems require that the driver actually hum into the device. This so-called hum tone stops the convicted drunk driver from using a tool to “blow” into the system. For instance, if the driver thought to use an inflated balloon to blow into the device, it would not work. Instead, the system requires a hum tone to register BAC.
Because of all these techniques, and the fact that ignition interlock systems are monitored monthly, it is nearly impossible to circumvent the device. Therefore, it is easy to feel comfortable that punishing a DUI offender with an ignition interlock system will be a safe, trustworthy, reliable punishment. Moreover, the punishment will be effective at keeping drunk drivers off the streets. Ignition interlock devices prevent intoxicated drivers from getting behind the wheel. That’s why so many states are doling out ignition interlock devices as punishments on a regular basis. Thanks to updated technology, there is no reason to believe that an ignition interlock device can be fooled, even by the most devious DUI offender. There is no reason to doubt the reliability of an ignition interlock device. Ignition interlock devices teach a lesson and keep out streets safe from repeat offenders.