Transportation & Vehicle Safety Policy
 

Study

Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices: Policy and Implementation Implications

Sponsor: Iowa DOT

For this project we are conducting a systematic review of breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIID or IID). The goal is to understand how other states have integrated such systems into administrative and judicial practice and to make recommendations for best practices in the state of Iowa. The University of Iowa and Iowa State University team created an analytical framework and plan to examine how such systems have been implemented and evaluated. Understanding the history of such devices will enable Iowa to enhance its OWI programs.

IIDs are like breathalyzer tests in that a driver must blow into the device before the vehicle will start. If an alcohol concentration greater than 0.02% is detected, the vehicle will not start. The IID then requests additional breath inputs at random intervals between 5 and 60 minutes after the vehicle has been successfully started. Such so-called 'rolling retests' are meant to ensure that a sober friend does not provide a clean breath to start the vehicle and then walk away.They are also meant to prohibit drivers from drinking once they begin driving. If a positive alcohol reading is detected while the vehicle is moving (or once the engine has started), the head lights will flash and the horn will honk. A positive reading for alcohol will also be recorded in the data log.