Car Breathalyzer Devices also commonly referred to as Breath Alcohol Ignition interlock Devices (BAIIDs or IIDs) have a small tube that you blow into to submit a breath sample. You must blow hard enough into the device to get an accurate reading. If you do not blow hard enough, the device alerts you, and you must continue to submit breath samples until the device alerts you that your sample is adequate.
Once you have submitted a breath sample, the IID converts the breath sample into an electrical current. The device’s fuel cell is specifically designed to be sensitive to ethanol, the type of alcohol in beer, wine and liquor. Through a chemical oxidation process, the alcohol from your breath is collected. The process of oxidation creates the electrical current that is used by the device to measure your breath alcohol level. The device then compares your breath alcohol level to a pre-set alcohol level that is programmed into the device. If your breath alcohol level is above the pre-set limit, the device triggers a series of events. These events may include disabling the vehicle’s ignition if you are attempting to start the vehicle, flashing the lights and sounding the horn if you are operating the vehicle, or a permanent lockout mode where the vehicle cannot be started until the device is reset by the service provider.
IIDs are also designed to log the results of your breath samples, the amount of time you operate the vehicle, any attempts to disable or circumvent the device, and the dates that you have the device serviced. Camera ignition interlocks will also record a photo of you as you take the test for identification purposes. IIDs are designed to download the data which is then provided to the monitoring authority of the jurisdiction in either a printed or electronic format. This data is downloaded from the device by the service provider that installed it at regularly scheduled service appointments. The service provider may also calibrate the device during these service appointments to guarantee accurate testing.