Driving Without Your Interlock: 5 Reasons Why It’s a Bad Idea

Every year thousands of DUI offenders across the country are ordered to have an ignition interlock installed. A surprising number ignore the order, and drive without one. Others have the device installed, but borrow a friend’s car when they want to drink and drive.

Neither are a good idea.

An ignition interlock device (IID or BAIID – Blood Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device) prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol level (BAC) exceeds a programmed limit. The driver breathes into a tube, and if he or she is impaired, the device prevents the vehicle from starting.

Almost all states now prescribe ignition interlock devices, and some do it for first-time DUI offenses. Driving without a court-ordered interlock is a violation of your suspension. Here are five reasons why you’re asking for trouble if you blow off your interlock and drive while suspended:

IT COSTS SERIOUS MONEY. Fines for those caught driving with a suspended license are steep – $5,000 is not uncommon.   If you compare the cost of an ignition interlock program to the cost of the fines, you will come out ahead if you install the interlock.

YOUR SUSPENSION GETS LONGER. It’s standard to add time to your suspension if you’re caught violating it. Some states can slap on as many as five extra years.

YOUR CAR COULD BE IMPOUNDED. Police in some states impound your car for a period of time when you’re caught driving on a suspended license. Or they might render it inoperable with a boot. If you’re driving a friend’s car to bypass your ignition interlock, tough luck – you’ll have to explain to your friend why their car is gone.

YOU COULD FACE PRISON.  Most states require some form of jail time for driving on a suspended license.   Incarceration is a much greater loss of liberty than a loss of driving privilege.  And with an interlock, you don’t have to lose either.

EVEN MORE PENALTIES. If you are order to install an interlock and don’t you may face even more penalties in addition to those for driving on a suspended license.

Ignoring an interlock requirement is a losing proposition. If you’ve been ordered to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle, then do it right away. Driving with a suspended license and no interlock is a risk you can’t afford.