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How do ignition interlock devices work?

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2016 | Drunk Driving

Have you been arrested for an impaired driving offense in Tennessee? Do you believe that you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle due to a drunk driving charge? If so, you will want to understand a bit about these devices.

As explained by Intoxalock, a company that manufactures IIDs and sells them in many states including Tennessee, ignition interlocks are designed to prevent people from driving if they are intoxicated. They do this by maintaining a lock on a vehicle ignition until a person passes a breath test. What constitutes a breath test pass depends on how the unit is configured. It may allow a person to have a breath alcohol content up to a certain level as long as it is under the legal limit or it may allow only minute traces of alcohol. Ideally people will want to abstain from eating or drinking anything other than water at least 15 minutes prior to using the devices to avoid false readings. Even things like toothpaste or mouthwash can interfere with the results.

Samples are given by blowing into the device. In Tennessee, you may need to have a unit that includes a small window-mounted camera as well. This camera takes your picture as you provide breath samples. Other people are allowed to drive your vehicle at any time but they will also need to use the IID. This include mechanics, car detailers or others who work on your vehicle for any reason.

IIDs cannot force your vehicle to stop once it is started but they can require you to take tests while driving. If you fail one of these tests or do not take one, alarms can sound until you stop your vehicle.

State Bar of Georgia
TBA | Tennessee Bar Association
CBA | Chattanooga Bar Association

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