How to Choose the Best Ignition Interlock Device

Getting a DUI can be stressful. In most cases there isn’t a lot of information regarding what devices are available in your area. Many folks requiring an ignition interlock device will get the first device they find on google when searching for installers. Depending on your location, there will generally be a few devices to choose from with varying features. While you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle to continue driving, you should choose these devices just like you’d choose a cell phone. We’ve briefly outlined a few things to consider when choosing an ignition interlock device to make your search easier.

Remote Unlocking/Lockouts

Even the best ignition interlock devices will occasionally fail for a variety of reasons. Having mouthwash on the breath or just blowing into the unit incorrectly can cause a lockout. When this happens, the interlock will prevent the vehicle from starting. Without remote unlocking capabilities, you might be required to tow your vehicle to the interlock installer to have the device reset, which can be costly.

Most modern ignition interlock devices come equipped with remote unlocking capabilities. This allows you to make a phone call to the ignition interlock manufacturer to have the device unlocked using a code. This can save you a lot of time and money in the case of a lockout.

Detachable

Some ignition interlock devices can be unplugged from the cord and taken indoors. This can be beneficial if the temperature gets very cold. Some state laws do not allow this, even if the interlock device is capable of it.

Cold Weather

Most ignition interlock devices need to warm up before the user can blow into the device. This can take a few minutes, but can feel like an eternity on a very cold morning. Choosing an interlock device that has a good reputation for cold weather starts, or a device that can be unplugged when the vehicle is not in use can spare you a lot of time sitting in a cold vehicle.

Customer Service

Choosing an ignition interlock device with good customer support is a must. It’s important to remember that you are a customer. You might be required to install an ignition interlock device to continue driving, but if you have a choice between various interlock devices, choose the one with a proven track record of customer support.

Installer Reputation

It can be tough to figure out which ignition interlock installer is a good fit for you. There is not a coherent place to find reviews for interlock installers. Many interlock installers also sell and install car stereo’s. If these companies have a good reputation for installing stereo’s, it’s a good sign they might be a good installer. It’s important to choose an installer that has flexible hours since you’ll likely need to have your interlock device calibrated monthly.


We’ve put a comparison chart together that lists the features for various ignition interlock devices.

  • Compare Interlock Devices
  • Compare Features
  • Detachable
  • Remote Unlock
  • Mobile Capabilities
  • Display Type
  • Built in Camera

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