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Are Ignition Interlock Devices and Car Breathalyzers the Same?

Are Ignition Interlock Devices and Car Breathalyzers the Same?

As states across the country increasingly adopt life-saving laws requiring ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for drunk driving offenders, the devices have become more common. Yet many people remain only vaguely familiar with these devices until they’re required to install one in their vehicle as part of a drunk driving conviction.

A lack of public familiarity with IIDs is in part due to the differing names that state governments and regulatory agencies call the devices, the various brands of IID providers, and various nicknames for the devices. In this blog, we’ll look at the many names of the IID and examine if these different names indicate major differences between devices.

Ignition Interlock Device, or IID

Ignition interlock device is the most widely used name for an electronic device installed in a vehicle which requires the driver to provide an alcohol-free breath sample prior to starting the vehicle. Often abbreviated as IID, this term is used by most state government entities, device providers, installation centers and users as the generic term for devices like Intoxalock’s.

Interlock or Interlock Device

Synonymous with the above, these are just shorthand descriptors for IIDs. While not likely to be used by many state government entities, you may encounter these names in less formal settings like an installation center or on social media. Don’t be thrown off — it means the same thing.

Car or Portable Breathalyzer

The term "portable breathalyzer” is a little more confusing. Though all IIDs are portable breathalyzers since they easily travel with your vehicle, not all portable breathalyzers operate as ignition locks. Technically, all breathalyzers in use today are portable, including those used by law enforcement in field sobriety testing. But not all breathalyzers are connected to a vehicle, making them different from IIDs. Plus, in many states, IIDs are required to remain connected to a vehicle at all times to prevent device tampering, making them portable only to a limited degree.

Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, or BAIID

This term is used almost exclusively by state government entities in Illinois, including its BAIID Division. The BAIID Division monitors the installation and readings on devices in the state, certifies device providers like Intoxalock, conducts inspections of installation centers and issues Monitoring Device Driving Permits for first-time DUI offenders. Synonymous with the terms mentioned above, BAIID is simply a more specific way to describe an IID.

“Blow and go”

This term is perhaps the least formal of those we’ll examine in this article. This nickname comes from device users and is typically not used by government or industry representatives. This name comes from the casual phrase used to describe the process of operating an IID, and can apply both to the device itself as well as the act of using one. If you see this term on social media or hear it from other IID users, you’ll know it’s just another way to reference ignition interlock devices.

Intoxalock, Legacy, eLERT and eLERT24

These are the brand names of Intoxalock’s ignition interlock devices. Easy one-button operation on these devices, and more installation locations nationwide than any other provider, makes convenient to install, service, and use.

Easy to use, affordable and reliable, the Legacy device is Intoxalock’s most basic IID. Legacy devices meet the standards of states that do not require advanced technology or camera verification.

eLERT is Intoxalock’s advanced technology device designed to meet the strictest state requirements. This device features a camera, GPS, remote reset and the advanced reporting capabilities required by many states.

eLERT24 is designed for home monitoring and as an ignition interlock device, making it distinctive from the IIDs described above. The eLERT24 is certified in most states and combines 24-hour alcohol monitoring with an advanced technology ignition interlock device.

Intoxalock Can Help 

No matter what you call these devices, Intoxalock has been a leading provider of ignition interlocks for over 25 years. For questions about devices, how to get started, or nearby locations for device installation, call one of our state specialists at (833) 623-0200.

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