Ignition Interlock Device

Interviewer: How much does the ignition interlock device cost, and what is it all about?

Matthew Nebeker: Yeah, the ignition interlock device is a requirement under our law in Utah that says anyone convicted of a DUI or drug-related charge has to have the device installed on any automobile that they own or are going to drive. Now, that’s usually on a first offense and has an 18-month requirement so once the DUI conviction enters, for 18 months going forward they have to have that installed in their car. It’s usually around $100 or $150 to have the device installed in the car and then they have to pay a monthly fee to rent the equipment. That’s around $40 to $60 a month to rent that equipment, so when you multiply that by 18 months that is just another expense that adds up quickly.

Those ignition interlock devices – I don’t think they’re that reliable. I don’t think they’re that accurate. The person will be driving down the freeway in rush hour traffic and the machine will start going off wanting the person to blow in it, and I’ve seen people get in accidents because of that very thing because they don’t want their car to stall out in the middle of the freeway. It’s a bad thing to have in your car, plus it’s expensive.

Interviewer: What if you’re in a situation where you obviously lose your job or something like that? That may happen, but they find it hard to actually pay for the maintenance to take care of this ignition interlock device.

Matthew Nebeker: Oh, yeah, because a lot of people will say, “Well, I’m just not going to drive,” or “I’m going to put the car in my husband’s name or someone else’s name and try and avoid it that way. If you’re truly not going to drive, then that’s good, but then you have to start looking at the costs of alternate transportation. If you’re looking at bus fare, taxis, or the train, those costs are adding up also and if you are caught driving without one of those devices in your vehicle, that’s a whole other criminal law violation by itself, the fine for which can be over $1,500 plus another year suspension on your driver’s license. That causes a whole new bunch of problems, like having another year added on to your suspension.

Yeah, it’s very costly when you’re talking about the ignition interlock, the costs of not driving your car, and alternate transportation.

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