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Ignition Interlock Devices in Alabama

An ignition interlock device is commonly referred to as a blow-and-go device.  Ignition interlock devices are devices that prevent a person from operating a vehicle if they have consumed alcohol by measuring the potential driver’s BAC.  The device prevents the person from driving the vehicle if they have a BAC over a minimal amount.  It is similar to a breathalyzer in the sense that you blow into the machine which measures your blood alcohol level. If you blow below the set maximum concentration, then the device will allow you to start your vehicle. If you blow above, you will not be able to start your vehicle. Alabama does not require the use of an ignition interlock device.  In general, the person who violated the law pays the cost of installing and inspecting these devices as well as any fees associated with such inspection.

State laws differ widely on the use of ignition interlock devices.  Some states require these devices and mandatory, while others allow state judges to use their discretion as to when to implement these systems.  Alabama does not currently use ignition interlock devices.  The state attorney general, however, has the discretion to promulgate rules for testing and monitoring of DUI laws (including the use of ignition interlock devices).  Thus in the future the attorney general could make use of such devices discretionary on the courts or mandatory in certain situations.  The current state of the law in Alabama, however, is that such devices are not implemented with regard to deterring drunk driving.

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