What is the Difference Between Ignition Interlock Devices and Car Breathalyzers?
Ignition interlock devices are used in the majority of states to prevent recidivism amongst drunk drivers. However, many people are unfamiliar with the life-saving devices unless they or a close friend or relative has been required to install on in their vehicle following a drunk driving offense.Part of this is due to the simple fact that if you never need to install an interlock device, it’s likely not a high priority area of research. Also, there are different preferred terms in different states, which impacts how they are referenced by state governments and regulatory bodies, and how they are communicated to the public. Intoxalock wishes to clarify any questions about the different device names, and any potential differences they may have.
Ignition Interlock Device, or IID
Ignition interlock device is the most widely used name for these devices. An IID is an electronic device wired into the ignition of a vehicle. Once installed, the device requires the driver to provide a sample to test Breath Alcohol Content, or BrAC. The BrAC level must be below a level determined by the state, which is well below .08 percent. If they fail the test, the device will not allow the vehicle to start. During most trips, the device will also instigate random retests to ensure continuous sobriety. All results are also reported to the state monitoring authority. In some states, interlock violations or failures can result in an extension of the interlock term.
Ignition interlock device is also the generic term for devices like those provided by Intoxalock, and is probably the most common term used by state governments, device providers, and others in the industry.
Interlock or Interlock Device
Interlock or interlock device are both synonyms, or shortened names, for IIDs. In some cases, these will be used by state government entities, or on social media and in ads from interlock providers. You do not need to worry if there are key differences between these terms - they both mean the same thing, and an interlock device from an approved provider will meet state qualifications even if it is not referred to as an IID.
Car or Portable Breathalyzer
This term is responsible for a lot of the confusion. All ignition interlock devices are considered portable breathalyzers because they are wired into the vehicle and thus travel. However, not all portable breathalyzers are ignition interlock devices. For example, law enforcement uses portable breathalyzers to conduct field sobriety testing.
This is the key difference. A portable breathalyzer is one that is not wired into a vehicle, while ignition interlock devices have limited portability since they are wired to a vehicle. Thus, it’s better to use portable breathalyzers when referencing truly portable devices, those that aren’t wired to an ignition. Often, car breathalyzer is used to describe IIDs as this term makes it clear they are wired into a vehicle.
Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, or BAIID
As mentioned above, many states have their own terminology preferences when it comes to interlock devices. The term Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, or BAIID, is used primarily by state government entities in Illinois. Synonymous with the terms mentioned above, BAIID is simply a more specific way to describe an IID.
“Blow and go”
This is a very informal term that’s often used in marketing, or reviews coming directly from customers. It’s a casual phrase referencing the typical process of using an IID - blowing into it to test, then going once you pass. 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 is the #1 interlock provider in the United States, and has more locations than any other provider.
Intoxalock offers affordable devices with easy, one-button operating systems and a simple blow-inhale-blow testing method. Thanks to the many locations, Intoxalock devices are easy to have installed and serviced as well.
Intoxalock offers basic interlock devices that meet the standards of 46 states. The basic devices do not have a camera, but Intoxalock also offers add-ons including an identity verification camera. This camera can be added to the basic device.
Importantly, Intoxalock has never once been suspended in any state. This is important because if your device provider is suspended during your term, you will need to replace the device with one from an approved provider. This could cause significant hassle and difficulty, but with Intoxalock, you can have confidence this will not happen.
Intoxalock Can Help
No matter what you call these devices, Intoxalock is the #1 interlock device provider in the country. For questions about devices, how to get started, or nearby locations for device installation, call one of our state specialists at 833-623-0200.