How Credible is My Ignition Interlock Program?

Smart Start Ignition Interlock Device Calibration Appointment at a Service Shop

Do you know how credible your Ignition Interlock program is in your state?

Ignition Interlock laws and regulations differ by state, and by county in a couple states, so it is important for you the client to know how credible your Ignition Interlock program is. Your vendor or provider follows these standards, so you are given a device that’s symbiotic with your everyday routine, such as driving to work or school.

First, let’s discuss the Ignition Interlock itself.

Your Ignition Interlock Device

If you need an Ignition Interlock, you’ll know that this device will be, or is already, installed in your vehicle. You need to provide a breath sample before your vehicle will start to ensure you do not have alcohol above the device’s pre-set fail limit.

This device benefits you so you can drive to work or school again. Ignition Interlocks also show a reduction of recidivism and alcohol-related crashes from multiple national studies.

For companies that provide Ignition Interlocks, federal guidelines must be met from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) before they become state-certified as part of a court or state program. States may then meet or exceed NHTSA’s federal requirements.

A couple Ignition Interlock vendors, such as Smart Start, take these federal and state guidelines a step further by exceeding them instead of simply meeting them.

Ignition Interlock Program Standards by State

Every state has different standards for Ignition Interlock providers. But every state upholds these standards to maintain the credibility of their program and hold vendors accountable to provide reliable programs for clients.

The model guideline from NHTSA provides states guidance on Ignition Interlocks in key program areas. A few include legislation, education, program administration, the device itself, vendors, data and licensing. For example, under education, clients need to be trained on how to use the Ignition Interlock, what the rules in the state are, and the consequences for violations. Some states require clients to watch training videos, and/or provide tests on a sample device before the Ignition Interlock is even installed in their vehicles.

Under the program administration area, NHTSA recommends one agency in charge, and asks states to provide anyone who needs an Ignition Interlock easy access to vendors such as Smart Start. Other factors include eligibility for indigency funds, and performance-based requirements for device removal.

For vendors, an oversight and management plan needs to be established to define device violations, methods of monitoring, and penalties.

Without these recommendations in place, an Ignition Interlock program can get confusing fast for everyone involved.

Are State Ignition Interlock Programs Effective?

A report from NHTSA in 2012 investigated several states’ Ignition Interlock programs. All made significant changes since the publish date of the report to establish the effectiveness of their programs. Some strengths included adoption of more efficient processes to help supervise clients, and continuous collaboration with stakeholders to maintain communication.

The report also provides suggestions for states’ program developers such as tactics with program oversight, routine program evaluations and exploring the role of Ignition Interlocks in the broader context of highway safety.

Wherever you are in the U.S., know that all states have an Ignition Interlock program in place for those who need a device under court or state requirements. And any vendor who provides a device to you as part of a court or state requirement must meet federal NHTSA standards.

Smart Start has met and exceeded NHTSA guidelines for years and is always looking to the future with clients in mind to provide effective, safe and seamless programs.

Have any questions about the Ignition Interlock program in your state? Call our Customer Care Center for information at (800) 831-3299.

Need an Ignition Interlock Install Now?

Smart Start offers the reliable Ignition Interlock you need while providing an affordable program and superior customer service. We are the leader in the Ignition Interlock industry with more than a million Ignition Interlock clients to date, and more than 25 years of getting drivers back on the road! Our Customer Care Center is open 24/7/365 and can answer any questions you may have throughout your Ignition Interlock program. Schedule an installation appointment today by calling (800) 831-3299 or by filling out our online form.