Many individuals choose to drive while under the influence of alcohol. When drivers have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08, they will usually be arrested. There are some states, however, where drivers can be arrested and convicted of a DUI when their BAC is less than 0.08. In order to prevent people from operating their vehicles while under the influence, ignition interlock devices may be mandated.
The Incidence of Automobile Crashes
Drivers are more apt to be involved in an accident when they are driving while under the influence or driving while intoxicated. According to recent statistics, when drivers with a BAC of 0.08 or higher were involved in a fatal crash, they were actually six times as likely to have a prior driving while under the influence conviction. Every year, the financial costs of alcohol-related crashes exceeds $59 billion.
When Interlock Devices are Mandated
When they are arrested and convicted of multiple DUIs, courts will often mandate that drivers have an interlock device installed in their vehicle. The purpose of these devices is to reduce and/or otherwise prevent repeat offenders from driving while under the influence of alcohol. Currently, there are approximately 150,000 of these devices in cars throughout the United States. Recent data also indicates that this number is increasing.
Once these devices are installed, research shows that impaired driving arrest rates have declined. This amounts to approximately 70% fewer arrests. Furthermore, after these devices have been removed, there continues to be a positive effect. When compared with offenders that didn’t have an interlock device installed, repeat offenders have experienced a 39% reduction in subsequent violations.
How Ignition Interlocks Function
Basically, ignition interlocks are set at a specific, predetermined level, which is usually about 0.02 BAC. When the device determines that a driver’s BAC is higher than this pre-set level, the engine won’t start. In the event that the driver hasn’t been drinking alcohol, or their BAC isn’t above 0.02, then most of these devices will have the driver engage in further tests. One of these is a rolling test that will occur about five to 15 minutes after the vehicle has started. The second is a test conducted at random intervals while the individual continues to drive their car.
There is a strong possibility that these devices will become mandatory in all vehicles. Given this, the BAC may be pre-set below 0.08, which is the legal limit. The most likely setting will be a BAC of 0.03 to 0.04.
Car Breathalyzer Costs
It’s important to make sure that car breathalyzers are installed by a court-approved, certified company. If you’ve been required to have an interlock device installed in your vehicle, you may want to know what a car breathalyzer costs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s November 2009 Ignition Interlocks-What You Need to Know: A Toolkit for Policy Makers Highway Safety Professionals, and Advocates, the cost for having an interlock device installed does vary.
In general, car breathalyzer costs will range between $100.00 to $250.00 for the initial installation. After this, there will also be monthly costs for insurance and basic fees. These will also vary, and come to approximately $65.00 to $90.00 a month. In the event that you believe or know that this device is malfunctioning, return to the company that initially installed it as soon as possible for an expert evaluation.