What is a DUI Ignition Locking Device?

An ignition locking device is a unit that is installed on a vehicle’s ignition system. It locks the vehicle, rendering it unable to start until the driver completes a successful breath test. The locking device is typically court ordered as part of a DUI sentence. The device is usually ordered for repeat or serious DUI offenders.

How Does an Ignition Locking Device Operate?

An ignition locking device is installed directly into your vehicle by a professional. The unit effectively locks the ignition until the driver unlocks it by blowing into it. The unit act as a breathalyzer, measuring the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in the system. If the device detects alcohol it will not unlock the ignition. Units provide data back to the operating company, which keeps reports about the use of the device.

Who Has to Pay for the Device?

If an ignition locking device has been ordered as part of a sentence, the driver must pay for the installation. The device can be rented through an authorized provider. There is likely a monthly fee that must be paid, along with an initial installation fee. The unit must remain in place for the duration of the court order which may be a period of a year or longer.

Does the Ignition Locking Device Work?

Yes, the unit effectively locks the ignition until the driver unlocks it with a satisfactory BAC. Sometimes the device requires the driver to re-test again at certain intervals. For example, if driving for a long time, the device may be set to require the driver to pull over to complete another test after a certain length of time. When the device is ordered and installed the specifics of operation will be explained to the driver.

Do I Have to Have a Locking Device?

In general, a one-time DUI offender with a relatively low BAC will not be ordered to install an ignition locking device. However, keep in mind that the penalties for DUI are complex and every situation is unique. If the device is part of the order it allows you the privilege of driving after a DUI as long as you comply with the requirements. If you have been charged with DUI it is important to seek counsel from an experienced DUI attorney. Your lawyer will review your specific case and discuss the potential penalties if you are found guilty in court.