DUI Q&A Series - What Is An Ignition Interlock Device? Blow and Go Breathalyzer

DUI Heros


Ignition interlock devices, sometimes called a “blow and go”, are machines installed in cars to ensure that the driver is not consuming alcohol before or while driving. They are imposed by the court and Department of Licensing for anyone convicted of a DUI to maintain their driving privileges. Always consult with an attorney to discuss options regarding a DUI case, as ignition interlock devices are not a guarantee.

When facing a DUI conviction, it oftentimes comes as a surprise that you can maintain your driving privileges through the use of an ignition interlock device. So what is an Ignition Interlock Device?


An ignition interlock device is sometimes called a “blow and go”. It's a machine that gets installed into your car and requires you to breathe into it before your engine will start. It also requires rolling retests at random intervals while you're driving. This machine is to ensure that you're not consuming any sort of alcohol prior to or while driving.

Years ago the Washington State legislature decided that ignition interlock devices will be required for anyone convicted of DUI. For a period of time ranging from as little as one year to as much as ten years or more.

If you have a prior DUI, the court may impose this as a condition of your continued release before you're even convicted. And if you lose your license before the Department of Licensing (DOL) hearing, an ignition interlock device is a requirement of getting a temporary license.

The ignition interlock devices require routine maintenance and calibration. You'll typically pay a monthly rental fee for the machine as well as calibration fees over the course of however long you have to have it. The company you work through will transmit that information to the Department of Licensing and the court to make sure you are in compliance with the requirements that are set for you.

Ignition interlock devices can be expensive and embarrassing, but they are not a guarantee in your case. It's important to find out what your rights are and what options you have by consulting with your attorney about trying to avoid an ignition interlock device.

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