Most users of ignition interlocks have installed the device because they’ve been ordered to by a judge or other official, or they’ve been advised to do so as proof of their good intentions prior to a court appearance.
However, every installer also does voluntary ignition interlock installations on a regular basis. A surprising number of people book an installation without a legal requirement, for several reasons:
- In order to deal with a DUI habit that hasn’t yet caught the authorities’ attention
- For a family member who uses the vehicle and tends to drink and drive
- For a vehicle used by teens and young drivers, who are often pressured into drinking
- To extend the interlock period after it is no longer required, to ensure sober driving for a longer period
- For a company vehicle, to prevent employees from driving while impaired
- To serve as proof of sober driving when dealing with non-criminal court cases, in which the driver’s future sobriety is called into question
Voluntary or court-ordered, the device works the same way: the driver blows into the ignition interlock device, and if it registers over the trigger amount, the vehicle will not start. You will also need to bring the vehicle in every 2 months to have the unit monitored and calibrated. Since you’re installing the device of your own volition, you can receive the monitoring reports yourself, or designate someone else to receive them.
Should you voluntarily install an ignition interlock in your vehicle? Consider doing it if:
- You know you have an alcohol problem
- You think it’s only a matter of time before you get behind the wheel while drunk
- You are in alcohol counseling and treatment, and want a helping hand
- You have a young driver whom who you think might drink and drive
As you can see, a voluntary ignition interlock device is well worth considering. Your insurance company might agree, and give you a discount if you’ve got a teen driver on your policy. Consider it a guardrail: something you are almost unaware of, but which keeps you safer on the road.