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The basics on interlock ignition devices in Nebraska

One of the potential consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or driving while intoxicated is the installation of an interlock ignition device in your vehicle. Interlock ignition devices are common penalties for drunk driving in every state throughout the country.

Nebraska is no exception-drivers who are convicted of a DUI or DWI face the possibility of having these devices installed in their car to prevent them from abusing alcohol while driving. So what exactly are interlock ignition devices, how do they work and who may have them?

What are interlock ignition devices?

An interlock ignition device, or an IID, is a piece of equipment that can be installed in a motor vehicle to prevent a driver from consuming alcohol and driving. Other names for an interlock ignition device include breath alcohol ignition interlock device, car breathalyzer and "blow and go," colloquially.

How do interlock ignition devices work?

When an IID is installed in a vehicle, the driver must blow into a small mouthpiece in order to start the car. The device detects whether the driver's breath-alcohol concentration falls within a designated, pre-set limit. If it does, then the vehicle will start. However, if it is above the limit, the device will prevent the engine from starting. The driver may have to wait several minutes to re-submit a breath sample.

Some newer IIDs require the driver to look into a camera while they blow into the mouthpiece. Many devices also require the driver to submit a breath sample while driving the vehicle. Both of these steps are meant to ensure that it is the driver, and not a sober companion, who is providing the breath sample.

Who is required to have interlock ignition devices?

In Nebraska, a driver must have been convicted of at least two DUIs before a judge may order an interlock ignition device installed in their vehicle. Sometimes, the court may offer drivers the choice between having their vehicle immobilized and having an IID installed. The third-party company that installs the IID must be court-approved; drivers are not allowed to select their own interlock ignition devices or installation companies. Nevertheless, the cost for interlock ignition devices usually comes from the driver's own pocket.

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