STUDY: Ignition Interlocks, the Cost and Indigent Programs in the U.S.

interlock device testing

The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), partnered with the Association of Ignition Interlock Program Administrators (AIIPA),  released a new study on indigent programs and Ignition Interlocks in the U.S. The study, called ‘Alcohol Ignition Interlocks and Affordability: What Do We Know?’ addresses a barrier some consider when it comes to Ignition Interlocks.

And that barrier, which can be a misperception, is the cost of an Ignition Interlock.

About the Ignition Interlock Indigent Study

This study defines the standards used to determine whether cost is indeed a barrier, and the use of indigent programs across the U.S. All states have their own Ignition Interlock regulations, with indigent funds included. An indigent fund is available to someone who qualifies for the fund’s eligibility requirements to assist paying the Ignition Interlock fees.

TIRF’s study lists 33 states total that accommodate individuals with DUI convictions where cost is an issue with their Ignition Interlock program.

They found that determining indigency or unaffordability status was consistent across the states. In the results, 15 states needed proof of enrollment in public assistance programs to determine indigent status. In addition, 14 states used poverty guidelines, while 11 need paystubs or recent federal tax returns to evaluate the person’s financial status. Four reported that total assets and equity of the person were considered. Just one state considered whether the person required a motor vehicle for employment purposes.

The fees that are covered in indigent programs were also consistent across the states. The installation fee was the most common cost covered by indigent programs. A close second were calibration, or monthly monitoring, and removal fees. The less frequent costs were camera and vehicle transfer fees.

In the study’s conclusion, TIRF states that this knowledge can provide a foundation for educated discussion about mandatory offenders in Ignition Interlock programs.

Driving Drunk is a Risky, Dangerous and Costly Choice

Driving drunk is a dangerous choice that puts yourself and other peoples’ lives at risk. As if that isn’t bad enough, DUIs do not come out cheap. Considering the legal fees, posting bail, reinstatement fees for your driver’s license, and more, it may come as no surprise that the national average cost of a DUI is thousands of dollars.

When you need an Ignition Interlock, they are oftentimes the most affordable part of the DUI process. And in a lot of states, an indigent fund is available for those who qualify.

Need an Ignition Interlock?

Choose Smart Start for your Ignition Interlock program. We provide the best customer service and the most affordable device throughout the U.S. Call our Customer Care Center today at (800) 831-3299 or fill out our short online form.