How does a DUI interlock device work?

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Let's back up a step.

A DUI interlock is a alcohol-measuring device that's installed on a vehicle's dashboard. Before the vehicle can start, the driver must take a deep breath into the sensor. If an unacceptable amount of alcohol is detected (usually a breath alcohol concentration of .02 or greater), the car won't start. After five minutes, the driver can try again. If the device still detects an excessive amount of alcohol, the driver will have to wait 30 minutes to give another reading.

Most interlock devices also require "rolling tests" that take place once the car is in motion. These tests are meant to discourage drivers from using someone else to take the initial breath test, and then driving while impaired. When a rolling test is required, the driver has several minutes to perform it due to the car being in operation.

The interlock device automatcially records all test results.

Most states - but not all - have some sort of ignition interlock program. Many even require first-time offenders to install the device. Depending on where you live, if you're caught driving a vehicle without an interlock device or tampering with the device, you can face heavy fines, license suspension or revocation, or imprisonment.

Obviously, being convicted of drunk driving carries serious consequences, including possibly have to use a DUI interlock device. Because of this, it's wise to consult with a DUI lawyer, who can steer you through the often complex DUI laws and penalties, and explain your options in an understandable manner. Keep in mind that a DUI or DWI offense can affect your driving record - and your life - for years.

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