Breathalyzer & ignition interlock device FAQs

Frequently asked questions

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device, or IID, is a small device that connects into the ignition of a DUI offender’s vehicle that measures a user’s breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). An IID prevents a vehicle’s engine from starting until the user has provided a breath sample that is below the legal limit set by your state. If the driver’s breath sample is above the state limit, the vehicle will not start. 

Drivers with an IID must periodically provide breath samples throughout each trip to verify the absence of alcohol. Additionally, ignition interlock devices track the user’s activity and provides a record of any violations to your state’s monitoring department.

What are the best ignition interlock device companies and devices?

We have done a lot of research into this topic so that you don’t have to! Based on pricing, best devices and best customer services that also meet your state requirements and get you back on the road faster, we would recommend our preferred provider, Intoxalock. Unlike LifeSafer, SmartStart and other providers, Intoxalock is a certified company with little to no history of suspensions as well as providing customer service support in times of need. 

Find out why we recommend Intoxalock, read the customer ratings, reviews and testimonials. 


Cost & Pricing

How much does an ignition interlock device (IID) cost? 

There are many factors that contribute to cost. Some companies offer a single model while others offer multiple choices based on needs or requirements and available features. The approximate price for an IID installation is $70-$150 and the monthly lease fee ranges from $40-100. Companies like Intoxalock and other promote lease prices as low as $2.00 a day.

How to install an ignition interlock device


How does an ignition interlock device connect to my car? How does it work?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a car breathalyzer that is installed into a vehicle and requires the driver to provide a breath sample by blowing into a mouthpiece attached to the device. 

The ignition interlock detects the driver’s blood alcohol concentration and prevents engine ignition if the resulting sample that’s analyzed is equal to or greater than what has been programmed in as the limit. Until a passing breath sample is provided, the IID works to interrupt the communication between the starter and ignition. 


How long do you have to have an interlock device?

It depends on your state requirements and conviction status. According to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), most first offenders usually operate motor vehicles equipped with ignition interlock devices for 1 year after the end of the license suspension or revocation period; second or subsequent offenders must operate with an interlock device for 2 years after the ending date of the suspension or revocation caused by the conviction.

Who does the installation?

A certified ignition interlock installer is who would be required to handle and setup the equipment in a driver’s vehicle. Laws are in place that explicitly do not permit the participant to handle their own equipment during the install or de-installation process. 

How long does an ignition interlock device installation take?

Most ignition interlock installations take approximately an hour. However, depending on the customer’s vehicle, the appointment may take longer.


Will an ignition interlock device damage or hurt my vehicle?

An ignition interlock device will not damage your vehicle. Companies like Intoxalock partner with installation locations across the country who are experts in working with a vehicle's electrical system. Our service center network is supported by our in-house experts who are continuously working with new vehicles to ensure we are able to install safely in any type of vehicle.


Can an ignition interlock be installed on a motorcycle?

Because of the potential dangers involved, most companies do not install ignition interlock devices on motorcycles.


How do I schedule my ignition interlock installation? 

Most manufacturers require the participant to schedule an appointment either online or via phone call. The manufacturer works with local installers and the customer to schedule an appointment with a location that is available, trained to install on the make and model of the customer’s vehicle, and the right price and distance away from the customer’s location.




What type of insurance do I need and what does it cover? 

If required, you may need special high-risk auto insurance following an alcohol-related traffic offense. An SR-22 is a Certificate of Financial Responsibility that verifies you have liability coverage included in your car insurance. In some states the form is referred to as a FR-44. It may be required in order to reinstate a suspended license. 


How do I obtain an SR-22?

You will need to go through an insurance company to obtain an SR-22. They will have to file the form with your state’s DMV.  Keep in mind not all insurance providers offer the SR-22. 


How much does an SR-22 cost? 

If you have an SR-22 requirement, your car insurance company will likely classify you as a high risk driver. This will cause your premiums to go up throughout the duration of the requirement. Similar to your current insurance plan, your rate will be determined based on your provider, your driving history as well as the type of car you drive. The filing fee for the SR-22 or FR-44 is typically between $25 and $50. 



What is a BAIID?

A Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, or BAIID, is a device installed in a vehicle that measures a driver’s breath alcohol content (BrAC). To start their vehicle, users must provide the BAIID with a sample breath that is negative for alcohol. Some states, including Illinois, also require a BAIID to capture the image of the driver as he or she performs the breath test.  

Ignition interlock devices, or BAIIDS, are required for DUI offenders in most states. 


Ignition interlock device statistics

How do ignition interlocks and breathalyzers save lives? 

Ignition interlock devices save lives when state laws require devices for first time and repeat offenders in order to let those who have been convicted attend meetings and occupations while keeping the roads safer for all citizens. 


How breathalyzer and ignition interlock device laws save money?

Ignition interlock devices are a solution that allow the offender to stay safe on the roads while paying for the devices and penalties without adding to tax dollars. 

  • Drunk driving costs the United States $199 billion a year.  - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2014
  • Drunk driving costs each adult in the United States almost $800 per year. - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2014

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