tamper-with-ignition-interlocksYou’re the type who doesn’t like to play by the rules when you drive. You ride in the HOV lane even when you’re alone in the vehicle. You consider a speed limit a casual suggestion. And you chose to drink and drive, which is why you now have an ignition interlock on your dashboard.

At this point, most people are concerned about obeying the rules and getting through their ignition interlock program without incident. But not you. As a never-play-by-the-rules type, you’re thinking: how can I bypass this device?

Before you bring out your soldering iron and wire strippers, you should know that it can’t really be done. Providers see people try to tamper with ignition interlocks from time to time, but the attempts are not successful, and they end in heartache.  Here’s the lowdown:

What they try: Clipping some wires and disablng it.
What it does: Keeps the interlock from asking for a test.
Does it work? No.
Why it’s dumb:  Even if you managed to do this, the device will record the disconnection, and you’ll be in violation. And you can’t hide it, because the installation uses tamper-evident tape on the wires to show that you’ve been snipping.

What they try: Run a wire from the battery to the starter.
What it does:  Starts the car without needing a breath test.
Does it work? NO
Why it’s dumb: When you start without testing, you’ll record a violation. After a few minutes the interlock will still require a rolling re-test, which you’ll have to either fail or ignore. Either way, it’s a violation, and the data log would show that you drove too many miles without a test.  Your bypass attempt will be passed on to the authorities.

What can happen? Depends on your state. In North Carolina it’s a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a fine and a jail sentence of up to 120 days. In Arizona, the jail term can be 6 months. The offense is in the same category as possession of stolen goods or larceny – not good company to keep.

So if you’re the type who sees every restriction as an opportunity to cheat, you should think twice before joining the legion of people who have been caught trying to tamper with ignition interlocks. It’s been tried, and it doesn’t pay. The way to “beat” an ignition interlock program is to drive sober. It’s not sneaky, but it works.

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