How effective is the ignition interlock device?

Reductions in recidivism range from 45%-90% (results come from several peer reviewed studies and an analysis reflecting a range of organizational characteristics, offender populations, time periods and study designs. (Traffic Injury Research Foundation, 2014). Is it effective with first offenders? YES ! Data from a TIRF evaluation study showed interlocks were effective with first offenders, research also shows that first time offenders have recidivism rates and characteristics similar to repeat offenders. They also show that this is effective with repeat offenders. Evaluations of a program showed repeat offenders with an interlock have significantly fewer re-offenses than non-interlocked offenders. It also illustrates that repeat offenders continue to drive despite suspension/revocation.

how effective is the ignition interlock device

So what happens when the device is removed? Recidivism rates return to levels comparable to non-interlocked offenders. This does not mean that interlocks are not effective as the net benefit of interlock still remains.

The interlock protects the public by incapacitating the offender and the device has potential to change behavior if used in conjunction with treatment.

What are the goals of the device? 3 simple goals are set in place;

  • Incapacitation – more effective than incarceration; more enforceable than suspensions.
  • Behavior change – has potential when combined with a good treatment program .
  • Permits offender to remain in community and fulfill obligations.

Arizona Ignition Interlock FAQ

Q: Can someone use a balloon or other air source to mimic human breath?
A: No. Advanced Ignition Interlock technology includes sensors that detect and reject such samples – and prevent the vehicle from starting.

Q: Will the ignition interlock device lose all memory if the battery is disconnected?
A: No. The device has a battery back up to protect the data log’s memory.

Q: What if the driver is taking medicine with an alcohol base or recently used mouthwash?
A: During a training session provided by the interlock ignition installers in Gilbert, drivers are cautioned about common substances that contain alcohol, including mouthwashes and medications. If the blood alcohol concentration of the driver, as measured in the breath, is over the preset level, the driver will not be allowed to start the vehicle.

Q: What happens when a driver fails the breath test?
A: The Gilbert ignition interlock device will enter a lockout period for failed breath alcohol tests.

Actions that will Cause an Extension for another year with an Interlock:

NON-COMPLIANCE- May be failure to:

  • Report for Scheduled Program checks
  • Obtain prior authorization for and to provide documentation of repairs on the vehicle.
  • Obtain needed repairs that keep the vehicle in sound electrical and charging condition.
  • Pay for Program Services provided.
  • Operating another vehicle without the Interlock installed.
  • Meet any other terms and conditions of the Interlock Program.


  • Leaving vehicle idling unattended.
  • Getting someone else to blow the breath test and start vehicle for you.
  • Figuring another way to get the vehicle started without successfully passing the test.

TAMPERING (All of the following are detectable):

  • Breaking of any tampering seal on any part of the device or the wiring to the vehicle.
  • Opening of the Sample Head or the Secure Disconnect.
  • Disconnecting or jumping of any of the wiring of the device to the vehicle.
  • Pouring any liquid substance into the breath sampling chamber.
  • Physically damaging the Device in any way.

VIOLATIONS (All of the following are recorded):

  • man in car blowing into gilbert ignition interlockA Startup Violation: Your vehicle has been started without passing the required breath test.
  • A Running Re-Test Violation: The required re-tests were not performed when requested.
  • A Power Disconnect Violation: The device has detected a significant and sudden drop of voltage indicating
    tampering or disconnection of the wiring to the vehicle’s power source.
  • A Fail Violation: .080
    All of the above may result in your Interlock requirement extended

Published By:

Arizona Interlock

Office: (602) 688-2907