Car breathalyzers, or ignition interlocks, are most commonly installed as part of a DUI conviction sentence. Once the device is installed, the user must blow into it before he or she can start the car. The car breathalyzer tests the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). If a driver’s BAC is above a preset limit, his or her car won’t start.
One of the myths surrounding these life-saving interlock devices is that you can easily trick them. While that might have been true in the interlock’s early days, technology has allowed car breathalyzer manufacturers to improve the device’s anti-circumvention features. Below are some of the most common methods by which people believe they can trick their car breathalyzer and why they won’t work:
- Having someone else blow into the device. While this will get your car started, a car breathalyzer’s running retest feature, which requires you to blow into the device at random intervals while you’re on the road, will prevent such activity. Some car breathalyzers also come with a camera to ensure only the DUI offender required to install the device blows into it.
- Starting the car sober, then drinking on the road. Again, the running retests prevent you from tricking the interlock this way. If you fail a running retest, your lights will flash and your horn will honk until you turn off the car. Once it’s off, the interlock will go into lockout mode, preventing you from starting your vehicle until a professional resets the device.
- Using compressed air, such as in a balloon, to blow into the device. This method won’t even get your car started, as some car breathalyzers have temperature and air gauges to ensure a human is blowing into it. Other devices will ask you to hum or inhale to prove you’re a human.
- Removing the device. Car breathalyzers require specialized training to remove. They also feature a tamper-proof seal for added protection against removal. Even if you could remove it, the device registers a removal and even an attempt.
Even if people do manage to circumvent their car breathalyzer, they would face some tough consequences for tampering with a court-ordered interlock. Avoid even more consequences than you’ve already received for your DUI by understanding that your court-ordered car breathalyzer is not simply a punishment. The interlock is actually a useful tool that allows you to drive safely and legally, keeps you and others on the road safe, and teaches you not to drive while impaired.