Can the Ignition Interlock Detect Drugs?

Holding Smart Start Ignition Interlock Device in Vehicle

Have you heard that an Ignition Interlock can detect drugs? If someone is convicted and/or arrested for a DUI, sometimes a mandatory court or state requirement to reinstate their driving privileges is to install an Ignition Interlock Device. The Ignition Interlock, or more commonly known as a breathalyzer, measures your breath alcohol concentration or BrAC. So, can the Ignition Interlock detect drugs like opioids, prescription medication, cocaine or marijuana?

The Truth About Ignition Interlocks and Drugs

An Ignition Interlock is manufactured to exclusively detect alcohol. Currently, Ignition Interlocks do not detect anything other than alcohol. Drugs are not made up of any alcohol properties, so the Ignition Interlock will not detect it, such as someone’s THC level. However, if an officer pulls you over and finds marijuana or another type of drug is in your system, this will negatively affect your probation. Officers will have the type of tests available that can detect drugs in your system. You should also keep in mind that smoke from marijuana or tobacco products can damage the Ignition Interlock Device.

It is also worth noting that the device has an alcohol-specific fuel cell that can measure your BrAC. This means that if you are consuming anything with alcohol in its properties, like your mouthwash, toothpaste or cough syrup, the device will detect it.

Smart Start strongly discourages consuming any illegal substance while driving. Remember that it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In some states, an Ignition Interlock is a requirement for any impaired driving charge and/or arrest.

If you do need to use an Ignition Interlock, Smart Start can assist and get you back on the road fast. Schedule your installation appointment today by calling (800) 831-3299 or by filling out our online form.