The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Video: NHTSA Recommends Ignition Interlocks for All DWI Offenders

January 02, 2014

The Drager Interlock XT is among the leading ignition interlock devices on the market. To see how it works, click on the video below.
The Drager Interlock XT is among the leading ignition interlock devices on the market. To see how it works, click on the video below.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a guideline document that recommends what steps states can take to improve their ignition interlock programs. Those actions include requiring ignition interlocks for all individuals convicted of, or having their driving privileges suspended for, alcohol-impaired driving.

This policy recommendation includes first-time DWI offenders, as a condition of license reinstatement.

In the document, NHTSA also advises state legislators to eliminate loopholes that let some DWI offenders avoid participation in the ignition interlock program and to establish a minimum length of time that DWI offenders must use the device.

In addition, to comply with minimum federal standards, each state must require all repeat offenders to either use an ignition interlock for at least one year or to lose their license for one year. Failure to do so risks the loss of federal highway funds.

Alcohol ignition interlock devices prevent intoxicated drivers from operating a motor vehicle if their breath alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds a set point – typically .020. Before a vehicle will start, the driver must blow into the device and the breath sample must register a score within the acceptable range. To see a device demonstration, you can watch the Drager Interlock video below.

The NHTSA document, titled “Model Guideline for State Ignition Interlock Programs,” also advises states to make training about ignition interlock devices available to a range of employees, including DMV staff, law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, probation officers and drug treatment specialists. Device manufacturers should be required to train users to ensure they understand how the device works, the program violations and sanctions, reporting and service requirements, and who to contact for further information, NHTSA said.

Additional recommendations include:

  • Ensuring residents in rural areas have access to the devices
  • Establishing criteria to determine a DWI offender’s ability to pay fees associated with device use
  • Creating self-sustaining strategies to pay for the ignition interlock program
  • Establishing procedures for monitoring offenders
  • Defining program violations and reporting requirements
  • Establishing technical and certification requirements for devices that qualify for use in the program
  • Creating a vendor oversight plan.

Click here to see a list of current state ignition interlock laws.

On Jan. 1, a new Colorado law took effect that regulates ignition interlock-restricted licenses and the consequences of refusing a sobriety test. Click here for a Dec. 17 video report from ABC Channel 7 News in Denver.

Twitter Facebook Google+


Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.


Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All
Sponsored by

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. is a car rental company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company's brands, Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental, serve travelers in more than 80 countries.

Read more

Accident Costs Calculator

Use this calculator to see how much extra sales revenue your company needs to generate to make up for the profits lost as a result of fleet accidents.
Launch Accident Cost Calculator 

Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher