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How ignition interlock devices work

The penalties and consequences of drunk driving charges can be serious which is why accused individuals should understand what they are facing and the potential criminal defense options available to them.

Accused individuals may face a range of potential penalties and consequences associated with drunk driving charges ranging from license suspension to hefty fines, jail time and an ignition interlock device.


Ignition interlock devices are instruments that the accused individual may be required to install on their car that is designed to prevent the driver from being able to start and operate the vehicle if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath. An ignition interlock device is essentially a breathalyzer device installed on the accused individual’s car that controls the driver’s ability to start the car based on their blood alcohol content measured by the device.

There are rules associated with installing and inspecting ignition interlock devices and also costs associated with installing an ignition interlock device. Typically, the driver is required to pay for the costs of the ignition interlock device. Most ignition interlock devices work by disabling the ignition for a certain lock out period of time if alcohol is detected on the driver’s breath. The lock out period typically grows longer with each failed test that is registered by the ignition interlock device.

Ignition interlock device laws vary by state so it is helpful for accused drivers to know what the laws are in their state. Ignition interlock devices are one of the several serious penalties and consequences drivers accused of drunk driving may face. As a result, they should be aware that criminal defense options are available to help them challenge the charges they are facing based on their situation and circumstances.

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Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White
30 North King Street
Leesburg, VA 20176

Toll Free: 800-239-4122
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