If you or a loved one has been convicted of a DUI and ordered to install an ignition interlock device, also known as a car breathalyzer or IID, you may be wondering, can anyone drive a car with a breathalyzer?
The answer is generally yes, with a few exceptions. If you have an ignition interlock device installed in your car, but someone else wants to drive it, they can. Maybe you share a car with your spouse, or your teen needs the car for team practice. As long as they are properly licensed and abide by the program rules of your state, they can drive your car. When we say abide by the interlock device rules, what we mean is this:
- Anyone driving an IID-equipped vehicle must blow into the handset to do a breath alcohol test. If they pass, they can start the car. If they fail, they are locked out.
- Anyone driving your vehicle must also comply with taking periodic retests. Refusing several retests can result in a lock out.
If someone else will be driving your vehicle on a regular basis, it’s important that ALCOLOCK train them in how to use the ignition interlock device. This training is free of charge, and can help ensure the additional driver avoids inadvertently failing the test. And of course, anyone who fails the test has done so under your name, and the test failure will be reported. So it’s important that anyone driving your vehicle has not consumed alcohol in any form before getting behind the wheel.
We strongly advise you to keep track of the days and times that someone else drives your car.
This may help protect you from penalties for program violations if it was someone else who was driving your car and failed the breath test. And please note that there is no way to disable the car breathalyzer, so anyone who drives the vehicle will need to use the interlock device.
Car Mechanics and Valet Parking Attendants
If you have to get your car repaired while you have an interlock device installed, it’s a good idea to let your ALCOLOCK service center know, so they can be “in the loop” as needed. Now it is possible for your car mechanic to blow into the device, but you may want to stick around while they’re working on your car and blow into the device yourself when it comes time to start the car. Keep a record of the day and time repairs were made, so you can explain any test results.
The same goes for a valet parking attendant, if you choose to let them park your car.You would need to instruct them in how to use the ignition interlock device in order to start the car and bring it to you. It may be simpler to just park your car yourself and walk to the location of your event or stay.
Remember that you are responsible for the test results on your ignition interlock device. Don’t let anyone who may have been drinking blow into the device. You are responsible for any failed tests.
There is an exception to saying anyone can drive a car with a breathalyzer. Some people with medical issues that have decreased their lung capacity, such as COPD, tuberculosis, lung cancer, or other medical disability may not be able to blow hard enough into the device to properly complete the breath test. These people should not drive your vehicle if it has an ignition interlock device installed.
Medical Exemption for Ignition Interlock Device
If you have a medical condition or disability that would prevent you from properly using the court-ordered ignition interlock device, you may qualify for a medical exemption in some states. You would need to speak with a lawyer or public defender, and get a medical health professional to test your capacity, and fill out paperwork if they determine that you would not be able to provide an accurate breath sample for the ignition interlock device to read.
Again, state ignition interlock device laws vary, so do your homework and don’t just assume you would be exempt.
We’re With You On the Way Back
At ALCOLOCK, we want you to succeed. Our ignition interlock devices help you comply with your DUI/DWI restricted driving program. We make it easy for you to earn back your driver’s license and full driving privileges. Call 866-700-9300 with questions, or use our contact form to schedule an installation.