A breathalyser is a mechanism used to detect if the driver of a vehicle has been drinking and driving. However, a breathalyser is often used after the driver has been caught or suspected for DUI. Auto interlock systems are technologically advanced devices that do not allow vehicle ignition if the driver is drunk. Some auto ignition interlock systems set off an alarm if the driver drinks while driving the car.

How do auto interlock systems work?

The ignition interlock device is one type of auto interlock system. It is installed in a car’s dashboard. As soon as you sit in the car and are ready to drive the vehicle, you need to blow approximately 1.5 litres of air into an alcohol sensor unit. This handheld device can be accommodated in your car’s glove compartment.

The ignition interlock system has a preset limit in the range of .02% to .04% according to your state’s laws. If your BrAC (breath alcohol content) is over the preset limit, the auto interlock system will not allow your car to start.

Another type of auto interlock systems can be used once the driving has begun. Varying from 5 minutes to 30 minutes, the device carries out “rolling tests” to check your breath alcohol content. The ignition interlock device sets off an alarm if the BrAC level of the driver is over the preset limit.

The alarm could be the car’s lights flashing on and off or a continuous honking until the car is stopped. The auto ignition interlock systems, however, do not shut down the ignition automatically while you drive the car.

Using Auto Interlock Systems as evidence in DUI cases

An embedded computer chip in the auto interlock system keeps a record of your BrAC tests. The reports can be downloaded as and when required by the authorities. They can produce these reports against you in a suspected DUI case against you. The court recognises such reports as legal evidence.

Benefits of using auto interlock systems

Drunk driving is prohibited by the state’s laws. But more importantly, it is ethically wrong to drink and drive. There is no dearth of accidents due to DUI. Such accidents have caused loss of lives, damages to vehicle and property. People involved in DUI accidents have lost limbs or suffered mental and physical trauma.

Installing auto interlock systems can help prevent DUI accidents and any further loss. The auto interlock systems can alert the other people in the car and the car can be stopped immediately.

Better be safe than sorry

No amount of care can bring back the time or effort spent in recovering from accidents and mental trauma caused by DUI accidents. It is better to be safe than sorry by installing a good auto interlocking system in your car. Your auto interlocking system will require minimum maintenance. It is recommended that you visit your car installer-dealer once a month to keep your car and its auto interlocking system in top condition.