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Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: How Two Leading Brands Compare

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Ignition Interlock Device Overview

Ignition interlock devices are used by most states to prevent drunk driving. When an individual is convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense, they must get an ignition interlock device, or IID, installed. Sometimes these devices are referred to as car breathalyzers, or breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIID).

There are many companies that provide IIDs, and each has their own unique spin on the offering. Intoxalock and LifeSafer are both industry leaders with many years of experience providing car breathalyzer and home monitoring services. Let’s see how they stack up when compared

Features LifeSafer logo LifeSafer logo
Device Design
  • Four buttons
  • Must be able to read device screen to operate or retest while driving
  • One button
  • No need to look at device while driving to operate or retest
Blow Pattern
  • Difficult blow-hum-blow pattern that causes frequent lockouts
  • Simple blow-inhale-blow pattern that’s easy to master and perform even while driving
  • Fewer installation centers than Intoxalock
  • Has more installation centers than any other provider, with 91 percent of customers within 15 miles of a location
  • $2.50 to 3.50 a day, device protection plan info TBD
  • $2.50 a day, with an optional device protection plan for $10 a month
  • Available via phone and email, with 48 hour turnaround for email inquiries
  • Available 24/7/365 via phone, chat, and email

Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: Design

Intoxalock IIDs feature a one-button design, and all users need to do is push the button to start the device. This simplicity is especially helpful for retests, because drivers can perform them with ease since they don’t have to fumble with buttons or read a display screen.

LifeSafer’s portable breathalyzer device has four buttons, and the testing settings are customizable. Their IID device can be used as a portable monitor or as a car breathalyzer. When using the device in a car, drivers must turn the key halfway to power the device.

Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: Blow Pattern

Another key difference between LifeSafer and Intoxalock is the different breath patterns each provider uses.

Intoxalock uses the simplest blow pattern on the market, the blow-inhale-blow pattern. Drivers insert the mouthpiece and blow, inhale deeply, then blow again without releasing the mouthpiece. It’s simple enough that it can even be done while driving in the event of a random retest.

LifeSafer uses a more complicated blow pattern, which requires users to blow and hum into the mouthpiece for several seconds. This blow pattern is hard for many to perform, and results in unnecessary lockouts for some customers. Failure to correctly submit a sample is often recorded as a failed sample.

Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: Installation Locations

All ignition interlock devices must be taken in for regular calibration, and some may require additional maintenance if they become damaged during use. The regular maintenance of calibration needs to be done every 30-90 days, so IID users will need to go to a certified technician multiple times while they have the device.

Intoxalock has the most authorized installation locations of any provider, which makes it easy for customers to find a convenient shop. In fact, 91 percent of customers live within 15 miles of a certified Intoxalock installer.

LifeSafer has fewer installation locations, which means customers may have to travel farther for routine appointments. Just to compare, the zip code 91606 features 55 LifeSafer locations and 87 Intoxalock locations. Intoxalock has a much larger number of options, which helps customers to find a convenient and trusted installer.

Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: Pricing and Payment

Convenient payment options help customers stay up to date. Intoxalock offers flexible payment options and allows customers to manage their account via the app. This means customers can easily choose either a bi-monthly or monthly payment plan, update their method of payment on file, or make a one-time payment using their checking account from the app.

Intoxalock customers can also mail checks in if they do not have a credit or debit card. This flexibility helps ensure every driver can meet their court-mandated obligations. The cost is low as well, ranging from $60-90 a month with an optional device protection plan for $10 a month.

LifeSafer is a little more expensive, starting at $75 a month. They do allow payment via their website, but users must create an account. There is no way to pay via a LifeSafer app. LifeSafer customers can use a third-party app called Prism to pay their monthly device fees. The Prism app is free to use, but customers risk a $15 fine if their payment is returned for any reason.

Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: Support

Intoxalock employs state specialists with expertise in proper process and procedures to follow for offenses in each state. They will help guide drivers through the process from start to finish and answer any questions along the way. Intoxalock customer support is available via phone, chat, or email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Customers can count on this assistance no matter what time of day.