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If you know anything about the consequences of drinking and driving, you may be familiar with ignition interlock devices. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this type of device, it is commonly given to those who have been charged with a DUI. The purpose of the ignition interlock device is to serve as a breathalyzer that will determine whether a vehicle will start based on the driver’s breath-alcohol concentration. However, there have been some widespread myths about ignition interlock devices that need to be debunked.

Myth #1:”If you use the right methods, you can trick the IID”

Some people claim that ignition interlock devices can be “fooled” into letting an intoxicated person drive. This myth claims that attempting to obscure the smell of alcohol on your breath, with gum for example, can deceive the breathalyzer into failing to recognize alcohol in the breath sample provided. This is blatantly false. An IID can register a breath-alcohol concentration at molecular level * from the breath sample that you give when you blow into it; therefore, it will identify the alcohol in your breath whether you’re chewing gum or not.

Myth #2: “In addition to alcohol, IIDs can detect drugs”

Many drugs are illegal to use in the United States, and driving while impaired by drugs is illegal. The ignition interlock device, however, can only detect alcohol in a breath sample and will not detect drug consumption. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re not drunk, but you have been using drugs, do not attempt to drive. Remember the reason why you are required to have the IID and step away from the wheel.

Myth #3:”Somebody else can blow into your IID for you”

Blowing into someone else’s IID is immoral and could be considered tampering with the device having adverse consequences for the DUI offender. After only a few minutes of driving, the device will require a retest. So, even if you do get a sober friend to blow into your IID against your Court ordered requirements, if you have been drinking, you will fail the retest. Most ignition interlock devices are equipped with a camera that will capture a picture each time the device is used. It is important to know that States do not take tampering lightly and you could face further adverse consequences ranging from extending your IID restriction period, license suspension or even jail time.

Now that we’ve clarified these myths about ignition interlock devices, you know how to use one responsibly. All we can do is ask that you stay safe. You should never get behind the wheel of a car when you have been drinking. If you have any questions regarding IIDs, feel free to contact us.

 

*Links to any third-party websites herein are provided for your reference and convenience only. Dräger did not create nor develop, and does not own, any such third-party websites. Dräger does not endorse nor support the content of, nor any opinions stated in, any such third-party website links. Dräger is not responsible for the content of any third-party website or its accuracy. Nothing contained in this article or in any such third-party website shall be considered legal advice or be deemed to constitute legal advice. For any legal advice concerning a DUI arrest, charge, conviction or consequences thereof, you should contact an attorney of your choice.

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