What is the purpose of an interlock device?

On Behalf of | Dec 9, 2022 | Criminal Defense

In Ohio criminal courts, judges have the right to order those facing DUI or OVI convictions to use an ignition interlock device. Unless you have experience with something like this, you may wonder what it is.

Intoxicated drivers pose a serious threat to the public and themselves, and as such, the Ohio laws aim to curb anyone from becoming a repeat offender. One of the tools that may help accomplish this is the ignition interlock device.

What does an interlock device do?

An interlock device attaches to the car’s ignition and does not allow you to start the vehicle using only the key. Instead, you must give a breath sample for instant analysis through the interlock mechanism. The car will start if your breath sample is below the .02 threshold set by the law.

What happens if you fail the test?

Should the interlock device register your BAC at a level higher than .02, the vehicle will not start. You may give another test 15 minutes after a failed one. If the interlock registers too many fails before a pass, you may have to provide breath samples while driving to ensure that you continue to operate the vehicle safely.

What does the law say about it?

A judge can order an interlock device for anyone caught driving under the influence; however, it becomes a requirement at certain BAC levels and in repeat offenses. It is not a mandatory punishment for first-time OVI offenders, but this does not mean a judge will not order it.

An ignition interlock device is one inconvenient and expensive consequence of a DUI conviction.