How Much Does an Interlock Device Cost?
Interlock devices, a shortened term for ignition interlocks, became the answer to the usual problem of driving under the influence. With an interlock device, the issue of drinking and driving can be addressed. The interlock device is basically a Breathalyzer that is installed in your car’s ignition system – you breathe into the breathalyzer and your BAC (Breath Alcohol Content) is measured. The vehicle will not start if the BAC of the driver is over a certain percentage. The BAC limit differs from state to state, but it is commonly set at .02% to .04%.
How much does it cost?
- According to IgnitionInterlockDevice.org, the installation of the device typically costs from $100-$200. The monthly rental fee can range from $70 to $100.
- The price of the interlock device may vary from one state to another. In Florida, for example, the state has mandated that those arrested and convicted of DUI/DWI must install an interlock systems into their vehicle. On the state’s official site, the court stated the price of the interlock device is only $12. The installation, monthly monitoring and a refundable deposit or monthly insurance charges have their corresponding prices as well. These costs are much higher than the device itself.
What is going to be included?
- The interlock device program is only intended for people who have been convicted of DUI (Driving under the Influence), sometimes called DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). Usually, the court will be the one to require the offender to install the device on his vehicle, although these can be purchased for other reasons outside the court.
- Once installed in the vehicle, the driver will not be able to start the car without measuring the alcohol content on his breath. Activating the device starts by blowing into a cell phone-sized hand-held sensor attached to the car’s dashboard. If the breath contains higher BAC, the car will not start at all.
- Interlock devices are regulated by every state and are available for lease only. You cannot buy it directly in any store.
What are the extra costs?
- Installation fee. As per flhsmv.gov, the cost for installing an interlock device in Florida is $75. Although other states may have different fees, they are all in the same basic range. IgnitionInterlockDevice.org stated on its site that the installation costs around $50 to $200. This fee may go higher if you have a luxury vehicle or if the installation takes longer than the usual.
- Monthly rental fee. The fee for monthly rental usually ranges from $50 to $100, depending on the state in which you live.
- Monthly monitoring and calibration. As the vehicle owner, you will be the one responsible for the maintenance expenses. In addition, the fees for downloading the data from the ignition interlock device are also shouldered by the owner. This may be around $70 or more.
- Deposit. Other states have the policy of depositing money before the device can be fully used. Most often, the individual required by the court to have an interlock device in his car must deposit at least a hundred dollars. However, this amount is refundable if the device is returned to the court in working order.
- Removal. Once you are cleared from having to use the interlock device, it will need to be taken out of your car in the same way that it was installed.
Tips to know:
- According to IgnitionInterlockDevice.org, the calibration appointments set by the state is very important. Inability to maintain the device can be seen as a violation of the ignition interlock program. This can result in a lengthening of the sentence or a fine to be paid to the court.
- The interlock program is designed to not let you start your car if you try to use a mechanical device instead of blowing into interlock system. Even if you also let another person take the test or tamper the interlock device, it will still be impossible (almost impossible) for you to run the vehicle.
- It is known that certain circumstances allow some states in the country to let the fees paid for DUI conviction to be applied to the ignition interlock device installation.
- Make sure you meet the requirements to use an ignition interlock device on your automobile.
How can I save money?
- Since interlock devices are regulated by the state, there is no way you can save money by deciding where to purchase a cheap device of your choice. You need to follow court orders most importantly. However, if you are using it personally (or for business purposes) without being ordered by the court due to DUI or DWI, you will have greater flexibility of choosing an interlock device to purchase. This will also save you money on the monthly rental fee as well as the monitoring system since it will be your choice.