How Much Does a Car Breathalyzer Cost?
A car breathalyzer is a breathalyzer installed in your car and prevents it from functioning if your blood alcohol level exceeds the pre-programmed limit. The installation of the breathalyzer may be required after a DUI conviction or if ordered by the court of law in your state.
How much is it?
- On average, a breathalyzer will cost around $150 to $300 to install in your vehicle or sometimes more if your car starts without a key. Aside from the initial installation fee, there will be monthly rental charges that can range from $50 to $100.
- Newer technology, such as the built-in car breathalyzer that scans your finger, costs an estimated $200 to install.
- For instance, ignitioninterlockdevice.org charges $70 to $100 for their monthly rental fee and $100 to $200 to install the device.
What is going to be included?
- A car breathalyzer will provide you with a 1.5 liter of breath sample every time you use it. The blood alcohol level in the device is preprogrammed and will be compared with your breath sample. If the device detects a level within its range, you can start the car and immediately drive. If your blood alcohol level is over the reading, you will not be able to drive the vehicle but you can perform another test within 15 minutes. In addition, the device will notify you when it is time to take a sample of your breath and conduct a rolling test.
- Every time the device is used, a record will be created. This report is often forwarded to the probation officer each month.
- The breathalyzer consists of a mouthpiece and two vials, which contain a mixture of sulfuric acid, potassium dichromate, silver nitrate and water. The alcohol detected in the breath combines with the chemicals and is shown by a color change in the chemicals. This color change is directly related to the blood alcohol content.
What are the extra costs?
- The breathalyzer will require you to visit the company that installed the device about once a month on average. This visit allows the engineer to check the breathalyzer to see if it is still working and is devoid of any tampering. All data collected during the month is downloaded, creating a virtual record of your blood alcohol readings. This can increase your gas costs, especially if the company is located some distance away. Some companies may charge a small fee to check the device each time, usually not exceeding $50.
- If you are ordered to get a car breathalyzer, this means that you will most likely need an attorney for your court cases. The cost of an attorney can vary due to the severity of the charges and the circumstances.
- Depending on the company, most will have rental fees for the device that can range from $50 to $100 per month.
Tips to know:
- For individuals who persist in drinking alcohol before driving, there is a risk that they will exceed the breathalyzer limit installed in their vehicle and could possibly face additional legal sanctions. The installation of the device can be an effective way to limit an individual’s drinking and driving habits. Together with proper treatment for alcohol abuse, breathalyzer devices can help to make our roads much safer. Currently, 47 states have laws in place where an individual convicted of a DUI offense may be required to have a breathalyzer device installed in his car.
- According to howstuffworks.com, “alcohol intoxication is legally defined by the blood alcohol concentration level. However, taking a blood sample in the field for later analysis in the laboratory is not practical or efficient for detaining drivers suspected of driving while impaired or driving under the influence. Urine tests for alcohol proved to be just as impractical in the field as blood sampling. What was needed was a way to measure something related to BAC without invading a suspect’s body.” It also allows the results to be ready immediately rather than having to wait.
- Most states will not allow you to drive with a blood alcohol level that is between .02% to .08%.
- Advanced machines may take a picture of the person blowing into the machine. The reason for this is that having someone else blow into the breathalyzer is a common scam that people try to pull. Taking a picture of the person prevents this scam altogether.
How can I save money?
- For those who have been ordered by the courts to install a breathalyzer in their car, it is advisable that you do not tamper with the device as this can incur further charges from the installation company if they need to fix the breathalyzer. This could also result in fines from the court.
- Court orders will always make you pay for the device. If possible, talk with the courts or your attorney to see what your options are.