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Learn more about Ignition interlock devices in your state

Consequences of Driving without Interlock Installed

Consequences of Driving without Interlock Installed

All 50 states have an ignition interlock law, which means if you get arrested for drunk driving, you could be required to install a device in your vehicle. Currently, 33 States in the United States require an ignition interlock device (IID), also known as car breathalyzer, for every drunk driving offense. If you are wondering what happens when someone is caught driving without an IID installed despite being required by law, you've come to the right place for answers.

Consequences of Not Installing an Interlock Device

Some drivers think they can get away with not installing an interlock device. However, if you are ordered by a judge or court, Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles or a probation officer to install a breathalyzer in your car, you need to follow through with the order. If you don’t, you could face serious consequences. Let’s break it down:

License Suspension or Revocation

Some states suspend or revoke your driver’s license after you’re convicted of a drunk driving offense and require you to install an ignition interlock device. In these situations, your driver’s license is reinstated once you satisfy your IID requirements. If you fail to install the device, you might never get your full driver’s license reinstated, which could lead to misdemeanor charges and fines.

If you are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID), you can download and complete the IID Program Application Form below to begin the ignition interlock installation process.

Complete IID Application Form


If you are pulled over for a minor driving offense, such as speeding, and you do not have an ignition interlock device installed, several things can happen. You might be issued a ticket requiring you to pay even more fines. Your car could be impounded. You might have more time added to your ignition interlock requirement. In some states, you could even be arrested.

Download the guide: Penalties for driving with a suspended license in your state

Repeat Offenses

Many drunk driving offenders believe that the offense was a one-time thing and won’t happen again. However, ignition interlock devices are the surest way to remove the possibility of another drunk driving offense. IIDs are very effective at preventing repeat drunk driving occurrences. Failure to comply with your device requirements could lead to additional drunk driving offenses, which means more legal and financial penalties.

Increased Costs

If you fail to install your required breathalyzer in the car and receive another drunk driving offense, the consequences will be even more severe. You will face more strict consequences. You may also incur expensive legal penalties, which could exceed the ignition interlock device cost, had you installed it the first time. If an ignition interlock seems expensive, just wait until you see the costs of a driving offense incurred when you’re supposed to have an IID but don’t.

Borrowed Vehicles

Sometimes people who have car breathalyzers borrow a friend’s or family member’s car so they don’t have to drive a vehicle with the device installed, or to avoid installing a device altogether. While they might think they’re bypassing the law, they aren’t. If you are required to have an ignition interlock, that means every vehicle you drive must have one installed, including vehicles you do not own. Driving a vehicle without a device means you are breaking the law and could face more penalties if you’re caught.

Intoxalock helps you understand your ignition interlock requirements so you can satisfy your legal obligations and get your license back. Call us at (833) 623-0200 to find an interlock installation location, understand your state’s laws and get answers to any questions you have.

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