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What are ignition interlock devices?

DUI offenses in Alaska come with a host of consequences, including hefty fines, alcohol purchasing restrictions and drivers license probation. If you are convicted of a DUI in Alaska, it is mandatory that you have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle once you regain driving privileges.

Ignition interlock devices can help you regain your driving freedoms, as they allow you to operate your vehicle with slight restrictions. It is helpful to understand how these machines work in order to maximize your ability to use them properly.

How do interlock devices work?

Interlock devices are installed directly into the ignition system of the car, with a monitor mounted to the dashboard. Before you are able to start your vehicle, you must blow into a tube. The device then measures your blood alcohol content level, and if it is under a preset limit, allows you to drive.

During your drive, the device will signal you to submit random breath test samples, known as rolling retests, in order to keep your vehicle running. If you fail to submit a breath sample during this time, the car will slowly power down. All information, including startup attempts, BAC levels, lockouts and signs of tampering, is stored within the device then transferred to law enforcement during your IID maintenance appointments.

What you should know

It is critical that you follow all rules and regulations surrounding IIDs in order to keep your restricted license, according to Alaska state statutes. If you are found in violation of an ignition interlock order, you may be charged with a misdemeanor, receive jail time, fines and lose your driving privileges for a longer period of time. Violations include tampering with the device, driving a vehicle that does not have an IID or allowing someone else to blow into the tube to start your vehicle.

During your IID order, you must take your vehicle in for maintenance appointments. Technicians will then calibrate your devices, transfer information and ensure they are working correctly.