In an official report released December 11, 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) called for expanded use of Ignition Interlock Devices.
An Ignition Interlock is a device that is installed in your car to prevent you from operating it after drinking alcohol. It requires your breath sample before the engine will start. If the device detects an elevated alcohol concentration, the car will not start. To prevent you from having someone else provide the initial sample, the device also requires samples at random times after the engine has started. If alcohol above the preset level is detected at that point, or if you fail to provide a breath sample, the device sets off an alarm, which continues until the engine is turned off or a clean sample provided. The device also keeps a record of all these interactions.
The leasing and installation of the device typically costs between $800 and $1,000 per year and there may be additional servicing fees. Service is required every 60 days, at which time the test results (or failures to supply a sample) will be obtained from the device. If you are required to have such a device, the order will typically require that a separate device be installed on every vehicle you own, co-own or have access to operate.
In Colorado, you are currently required to have an Interlock Ignition Device to reinstate after a month for a first conviction for DUI, but not for DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired).
In December, the NTSB, after completion of a study of wrong-way driving crashes, cited alcohol-impaired driving as the leading cause of these collisions and recommended that all first-time-offender alcohol impaired drivers be required to have Interlock Ignition Devices installed on their personal vehicles.
A complete list of the report’s conclusions and the NTSB’s safety recommendations is available online.