How to Select an Interlock Device

Whether you’ve been court ordered to install a machine in your car or you simply want to take a proactive step to curtailing your own behavior, choosing the right ignition interlock device is a big step that deserves some serious thought. Before you go pick the first one you come across, consider the following.

The Court

If the court ordered you to use a specific machine, that’s all there is to it. Many states actually issue you the device with a lease. Either way, whatever the court tells you to do, it’s essential that you listen.

Your Lawyer

The court may not have told you which one you have to choose though. In that case, if you had a lawyer, ask them what their advice is. They will definitely have a vested interest in your wellbeing, which means they’ll provide a recommendation you can trust.

Now, let’s look at important factors you’ll need to look for in a machine if you weren’t ordered to pick a specific one by the judge and don’t have a lawyer to weigh in.


Just because a company makes ignition interlock products doesn’t mean they’re certified to do so. They may simply sell them to parties who have personal reasons for wanting one. If you’re getting one installed because of legal reasons, it absolutely has to be certified for this purpose.

Keep in mind, too, that models get certified, not companies. One model a company makes may carry certification, while another doesn’t. Always be sure to check.

Convenient Installation Locations

Someone has to install your interlock device and this mechanic needs to be approved to do so. Choosing a device that a mechanic nearby can install makes a lot of sense. However, you also want to think about where else you drive on a regular basis. If something should happen that keeps the device from working, it’s important that you can quickly find a professional who will be able to help.

Reputable Customer Care

Along the same lines, it’s smart to look for a machine that’s made by a company you can rely on for quality customer care. If your device stops working or stops working correctly, you could be without a car that works too. This can have a huge effect on your day-to-day life, but also think about what that would mean in an emergency situation.   

Fuel Cell Technology

After you blow into an ignition interlock device, your breath is processed before a measurement can be taken on your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). The best method for doing this is with a fuel cell that leverages the latest technology.

When you’re looking for an ignition interlock device, check for those that use a fuel cell and that were made (the model, not the specific device) within the last 10 years. This way, you won’t have to worry about outdated technology causing you any problems.

Picking an ignition interlock device is an important step toward getting back to a normal life. Use the above as a guide to ensure you choose the right one.