Can an Ignition Interlock Be Installed on a Motorcycle?

Most providers of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) do not install them on motorcycles. That’s because IIDs are designed to work with vehicles such as trucks, SUVs, vans, and cars. After a DUI conviction, most states require that you install an IID on either the main vehicle you drive or all vehicles registered in your name. But when they refer to vehicles, they are referring to the automotive vehicle. Some states actively prohibit installation of an ignition interlock on a motorcycle.

Ignition interlock device installation on a motorcycle isn’t very practical for a number of reasons:

  • An IID would be exposed to dust, wind, and rain on a motorcycle, possibly damaging it
  • IIDs are not designed to withstand the vibration of a motorcycle
  • Lack of secure storage is an issue
  • An IID could easily drain a motorcycle battery
  • A motorcyclist would not be able to hear the auditory warning for a rolling retest
  • A rolling retest absolutely could not be performed while driving

Modifications could be made to make it work, but the labor and expense involved hardly makes it worthwhile. And if installation were possible, the motorcycle rider would most certainly need to sign a waiver of some sort, taking responsibility for any accident or injury while using the interlock.

Ignition Interlock Programs and Your Motorcycle License

In most states, your motorcycle license is a separate endorsement on your driver’s license. If you are convicted of DUI and required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, once you have the IID installed, you are free to drive that IID-equipped vehicle only. The ignition interlock restricted license does not allow you to drive your motorcycle for the duration of the program.

If you are caught driving your motorcycle while you have an ignition interlock restricted license, you face a variety of penalties, based on your state. These include:

  • Being kicked out of the ignition interlock program and having to serve your full suspension without driving
  • Time added on to your suspension
  • Criminal charges
  • Fines
  • And more

But Wait! My Motorcycle Is My Only Means of Transportation

If your motorcycle is the only way you get around, in many states, you can apply for a waiver of the ignition interlock installation requirement. You will have to sign a legal document attesting that:

  • You don’t own any vehicles
  • You don’t operate or have access to anyone else’s vehicle
  • You don’t operate or have access to my employer’s vehicles

Very few people would actually be able to say all 3 of the above to qualify for a waiver. But even if you get a waiver, you still can’t drive your motorcycle during the suspension period.

If you do have access to someone else’s car — for example, a spouse’s — you will be required to get an ignition interlock installed on that vehicle, and your spouse will also have to blow into the IID to start the car, and complete the rolling retests whenever they are driving. In addition, if you purchase a vehicle during the suspension period, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device before you can drive it anywhere.

The NHTSA Is Studying the Feasibility of Interlocks for Motorcycles

According to a National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, approximately 30% of fatal motorcycle crashes involve an impaired motorcycle driver. In fact, “The role of alcohol in fatal motorcycle crashes is greater than for any other vehicle type.”

With the success of ignition interlock devices in an effort to decrease drunk driving among people who drive cars and trucks, the NHTSA is studying the feasibility of ignition interlock devices designed specifically for use on motorcycles. They interviewed ignition interlock device manufacturers, state officials, and a handful of motorcycle riders.

Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation

While ALCOLOCK does not install ignition interlock devices on motorcycles, we can help you with installation on other motor vehicles. If you need to get an ignition interlock device installed in your car, truck, or van, just call your nearest ignition interlock device installation location, or call ALCOLOCK directly at 866-700-9300 to schedule your IID installation.

You will need to have paperwork from the state showing you are eligible for the restricted driving program. You should also plan on having someone drive you and your vehicle to your installation appointment, and plan to be at the service center for about an hour. That includes the actual device installation, as well as the time it takes to calibrate the IID specifically to you, and train you in how to use the device.

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