Your auto insurance company knows a lot about you. They surely know you got a DUI. Whether they keep you on as a client or not is up in the air. Some insurance companies will raise your rates sky-high after a drunk driving conviction, while others will say you’re too high risk, and drop you.
But assuming they keep you as a client, will your car insurance provider know you have an IID (ignition interlock device) installed? The simple answer is yes. Just like when you get a speeding ticket or get in an accident, the information makes its way from law enforcement to the DMV to your insurance company.
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2012 Behavioral Risk Survey, nearly 4.2 million adults reported driving drunk on at least one occasion in the previous 30 days. Furthermore, men accounted for 80% of self-reported drunk driving episodes, with young men 21–34 years old making up 32% of all self-reported drunk driving episodes. In addition, 85% of drunk driving episodes were reported by people who also reported engaging in binge drinking
You can bet your auto insurance company is aware of statistics like this. That’s why, as a young male, you may have higher auto insurance rates, to begin with. But once you have a DUI conviction, the insurance company will raise your rates further.
Insurance Rates with an Ignition Interlock Device
Installing an ignition interlock device, whether required by your state or not, could potentially qualify you for a reduced rate (from the initially increased rate) after a drunk driving conviction. It’s worth asking your insurance company. All 50 states have ignition interlock laws. Some of those states require drivers to install an IID even after a first conviction. Other states require them only after a second or subsequent offense, or if a first offense involved a high blood alcohol content (BAC).
If you are required to have an ignition interlock device installed, your insurance company will get a notification from the state that you have an interlock restricted license. If you wish to voluntarily install an ignition interlock device, only you would have the authority to give that information to your insurance company. And it might be well worth it, as it would show you are taking sober driving seriously. And if you’re concerned you might get another DUI, it would be a good safety measure to put in place.
Ignition Interlocks Work to Prevent Drunk Driving
No matter how your insurance company reacts, or how it does or doesn’t affect your rates, installing an ignition interlock device in your vehicle prevents you from using that vehicle to drive drunk. You probably know by now that an IID is essentially an in-car breathalyzer that controls whether you can start your vehicle or not. Submit a clean breath sample, and you can start the car and drive away. Submit a sample with a prohibited BAC (generally .02 or higher) and the device locks you out, preventing you from starting the car. Once you submit a clean sample, you can start the car.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) summarized multiple studies of ignition interlock use this way:
“Research provides strong evidence that, while installed on an offender’s vehicle, interlocks reduce recidivism among both first-time and repeat offenders. This includes high-risk offenders, i.e., those who repeatedly drive after drinking with high BACs, and are resistant to changing behavior.”
However, the NHTSA goes on to say that recidivism increases once the devices are removed. That’s why the NHTSA and other groups are encouraging states to add a substance abuse treatment component to the sanctions for a DUI/DWI. Research also shows that recidivism is reduced when substance abuse treatment and ignition interlocks are used together.
Your DUI lawyer, the courts, and the DMV will be able to tell you what sanctions you face with regard to an ignition interlock device. If you follow all the rules, you will only have to have the device installed for the beginning time period specified. Violating the program rules may result in increasing the length of time you have to have the IID installed.
Schedule Ignition Interlock Device Installation
Scheduling your ignition interlock device installation with ALCOLOCK is easy. We have ignition interlock installation in many states across the country. Just call the service location most convenient to you to schedule an installation appointment, or call ALCOLOCK at (866) 700-9300. Something to keep in mind — you will need to bring your vehicle in for monthly maintenance visits to your installation location. So choose a location that’s convenient to both your work and home.
When you schedule your appointment, make sure you have someone who can drive you and your vehicle to the service center. You can drive your vehicle away after the ignition interlock device is installed.
What to Expect at Your IID Installation Appointment
The entire installation appointment will take about an hour. That time includes connecting the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to your vehicle’s starter. They will also calibrate the handheld device to you, specifically, and train you on how to use it properly.
If someone else will be driving your car while you have the IID installed, bring them with you to your appointment, so they can learn how to use the device as well.
Lastly, the technician will make an appointment for your first service visit. The device will send you reminders of this visit a few days in advance. Service appointments usually take about 20 minutes.
At ALCOLOCK, our mission is to provide fast and affordable ignition interlock installation and service. Call today to get started back on the road.