Top 10 States Where Driving Without an Interlock Will Cost You A Lot

NHTSA’s holiday high visibility enforcement campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” ended on January 1, 2020. The results across states show many people are now facing the need to install an ignition interlock to continue driving. While it may seem like a lot of time, money and effort to do so, the cost of avoiding an interlock installation may cost you much more than you think.

The cost of driving on a suspended license

We looked at the risk-taking alternative;  driving on a suspended license, in each state. We then added up the cost of maximum fines, jail time as lost wages, and the average cost of having a car impounded.  Here we developed an estimated total cost if you get arrested for driving on a suspended license.

How much does an Interlock cost in my state?

Next, we added up the cost of a 6-month LifeSafer Ignition Interlock program by state, including installation and state-mandated fees.    These prices vary over time and can depend on a number of factors, so It’s best to call LifeSafer for the most up-to-date pricing in your state. Generally, our estimations are a very good indication of what you’ll pay as of January 2020.

So what’s the difference?

The national average cost of a six-month interlock program with LifeSafer Ignition Interlock is $591. Getting caught driving on a suspended license?  About $25,000.

You might think it’s low risk to drive on a suspended license; that it’s unlikely you’ll get caught. Lawyers on AVVO explain just how serious the consequences and the likelihood that you will get caught actually are.

Above average.

In our calculations using the data above, here is the list of the ten states that have the most severe penalties for driving on a suspended license:

RankStatePenaltyTotal Possible Cost of SuspendedEstimated Cost of LifeSafer IID
1VermontJail for up to 2 years, fine of $5,000 or both. $167,713.60 $663.00
2WashingtonJail for up to 364 days, fine up to $5,000 or both. $87,380.48 $729.00
3IllinoisJail up to 1 year and a fine of up to $2,500. $83,975.20 $594.00
4VirginiaJail for up to 12 months, fine of $2,500 or both. $83,975.20 $596.00
5MarylandJail for up to 1 year, fine of $1,000 or both, and a possible increase in your license suspension for an additional year. $82,475.20 $635.00
6MissouriJail not to exceed 1 year. $81,475.20 $555.00
7IndianaJail between 6 months and 2 years, 6 months and a fine up to $10,000. $50,737.60 $594.00
8ArizonaJail time for up to 6 months, possible vehicle impoundment $41,737.60 $558.00
9UtahJail up to 6 months, $1,000 fine. $41,737.60 $429.00
10WyomingJail up to 6 months, fine of $750 or both. $41,487.60 $585.00


As you can see, it is much cheaper to get your interlock device installed than to keep driving without one.