Do I Need an Ignition Interlock for My Commercial Vehicle?

If you’ve been convicted of DUI/DWI and are under orders to install an ignition interlock device on your personal vehicle, you may need an ignition interlock for your commercial vehicle as well. It all depends on what state you live in, and what your state’s ignition interlock device law specifies. All 50 states have ignition interlock device laws on the books. You will want to consult with your DUI attorney as well as your court order and your state DMV to ensure you are following the requirements of your state’s ignition interlock device law.

We also need to make the distinction between commercial vehicles that require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and commercial vehicles that do not require a CDL. In many states, if you are convicted of DUI/DWI, your CDL will be suspended, and you can only drive a commercial vehicle again after serving out that suspension. You can drive a personal vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock, but not a vehicle requiring a CDL.

There are three main areas to look at when it comes to ignition interlocks for commercial vehicles.

Employer Exemption

If you drive a commercial vehicle for work, but you don’t own it — your employer does — then it is up to your employer if they want you to drive their vehicle at all after a DUI/DWI conviction. And then, if they will allow you to drive their commercial vehicle, the employer has to decide if they will allow an ignition interlock device to be installed.

Some states allow an employer exemption to the ignition interlock device requirement. If your state is one of those that allow an employer exemption, you will need to fill out the proper paperwork to qualify for the exemption, and carry it with you while you are driving the employer-owned commercial vehicle. You are only allowed to drive that vehicle for work purposes. You must drive your own IID-equipped personal vehicle to and from work, and for any  other personal business.

You Are Self-Employed

If you are the employer, you cannot get an employer exemption. Most states will treat your commercial vehicle the same as they would your personal vehicle, and require you to install an ignition interlock on your commercial vehicle. This applies if it’s a work truck/van that you drive to construction sites or to customer’s homes, whether you’re making deliveries for your company, or whatever.

If you own the commercial vehicle and your state requires you to install an ignition interlock device on all of the vehicles registered to you, or even just the vehicle you primarily use, if that vehicle is a commercial vehicle, you have to get an ignition interlock installed.

Voluntary Ignition Interlocks for Commercial Vehicles

Some fleet managers may want to consider installing ignition interlock devices in some or all commercial vehicles. It’s a preventive measure, and helps ensure no one in your employ can drink and drive. The cost of installing IIDs in your fleet as a proactive measure is far less than the expenses you face if one of your employees is in a drunk driving accident. Your expenses from such an accident might include:

  • A lawsuit
  • Damage to company reputation
  • Increased fleet insurance rates
  • Repair/replacement costs of damaged vehicle
  • Health insurance costs for injured driver
  • And more

Many companies just fire an employee after a DUI arrest or conviction, and then face the administrative costs related to termination and finding a new employee. And if someone else besides your driver was injured in an accident, you face all of the expenses mentioned above.

ALCOLOCK Installs Commercial Interlocks

If you need an ignition interlock installed on your commercial vehicle or on your fleet of vehicles, ALCOLOCK can help. We install commercial ignition interlocks at hundreds of locations across the country. Commercial interlocks work the same way personal ignition interlock devices do. Blow into the device each time you want to start the vehicle. Pass the test and you can start the vehicle and get on the road. Fail the test (the device detects alcohol on your breath) and the IID prevents you from starting the vehicle.

For court-mandated ignition interlock programs, you will be required to bring the vehicle in for monthly service visits, at which time the technician will upload the data that the device recorded to your monitoring agency, and your employer, if they so desire.

If you are an employer who has voluntarily installed IIDs on one or more of your commercial vehicles, we will upload the device data to you directly.

Schedule Ignition Interlock Device Installation on Your Commercial Vehicle

If your commercial vehicle is your primary means of transportation, your state will likely require you to get an ignition interlock device installed. To schedule IID installation on your commercial vehicle or on a vehicle in your fleet, you can call your nearest service center location directly, or call ALCLOCK at 866-700-9300.

Skip to toolbar