Can Someone Else Drive My Car If There’s an Ignition Interlock Device on It?

If you’ve been convicted of DUI and you have to get an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle, you may be wondering — Can someone else drive my car if there’s an ignition interlock device on it? This is an especially important question to ask if you share your vehicle with someone else.

The short answer is yes. But there’s a longer answer that we need to let you know about.

If You Share a Vehicle With an Ignition Interlock Device

If you share a vehicle with a spouse, partner or someone else and you have to get an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, it’s important that you let your ALCOLOCK technician know that you will not be the only one driving the car. That’s because the IID is calibrated especially to you. Some devices make you hum while blowing into them, and others have facial recognition built into them to ensure you are the one giving the breath sample, and you are not trying to circumvent the ignition interlock device.

So, if you share the vehicle, the other person will need to have an IID calibrated for them, as well. This second person would need to come with you to the installation appointment. This way the technician can train them as well as you in the proper use of the device, and what all the sounds and lights mean.

So yes, someone else can drive your car if there is an IID installed, but they will have to use it just like you do — giving a breath sample before starting the car, and submitting to random retests as the device calls for them. Failure to do so will be considered a program violation.

We highly recommend that you keep detailed records of when someone else drives your vehicle. If they fail the breath test, you want to make sure you don’t get blamed for it.

If You Are Thinking Someone Else Can Blow Into the Device For You

Ignition interlock devices today are pretty high tech, and can recognize if you are the one blowing into the device. We don’t recommend trying to have someone blow into the device for you because you’ve been drinking. This would be considered a program violation, and the penalties for program violations vary by state, but include your dismissal from the restricted driving program, an extension of the amount of time you have to have the ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, fines, and more.

Special Circumstances to Be Aware of

Since anyone who wants to start your car has to blow into the device first, you may want to avoid situations like valet parking. If you need to take your car into a mechanic to get it worked on, you should let your ALCOLOCK service technician know first. Again, all states have different laws, so you should look at your DMV paperwork and the paperwork you got from your ALCOLOCK technician.

In some states, the mechanic can disconnect the battery (which would disconnect the IID), and everything’s OK and it won’t count against you as a program violation. In other states, if you have to have repairs done on your vehicle, you have to notify your service technician, the DMV, your probation officer and more. The good news is, your ALCOLOCK service technician knows the ignition interlock device law for your state frontwards and backwards, so they can tell you who you need to notify before any car repairs.

Some People Can’t Drive a Car With an Ignition Interlock Device

Since starting the car, and continuing to drive it require the driver to blow into the handheld device with a steady, strong breath for approximately 5 seconds, anyone with a decreased lung capacity might not be able to pass the breath test that gives them permission to start the car. This would include people with lung cancer, COPD, tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis, etc.

Medical Exemption for Ignition Interlock Device Program

All 50 states have ignition interlock device laws. Some states have a medical exemption for the ignition interlock device program. What we mean by this is in some states, if a person convicted of DUI is normally required to participate in a restricted driving program with an IID installed in their vehicle, someone with one of the medical conditions we listed above might be exempt. Getting an exemption would require a medical professional to certify that you could not participate in the program.

An exemption does not mean you would just be able to go start driving your car after a DUI conviction and bypass the whole IID program. If you think you qualify for a medical exemption, you will want to contact your DUI lawyer and your state DMV to work out those details.

Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation

If you’re required to get an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle(s), ALCOLOCK can help. We provide quick and easy ignition interlock device installation at service locations around the country. You can call a service center directly, or call us at 866-700-9300. You can also use our contact form, and we’ll be in touch soon.