Ignition Interlock

An ignition interlock is a fuel-cell device installed after market in a vehicle that tests the breath of the vehicle operator for presence of alcohol before it allows the vehicle to start. All U.S. jurisdictions have enacted legislation requiring or permitting the use of ignition interlocks. Many AAMVA member agencies are responsible for managing and implementing ignition interlock programs.
Ignition interlock program goals include reducing recidivism and enhancing compliance with laws related to driving under the influence of alcohol. These programs have proven to be effective at reducing alcohol-related violations and crashes as long as they are installed and used properly.   
In 2018, AAMVA developed the Ignition Interlock Program Best Practices to assist jurisdictions in the administration, development, design, and standardization of ignition interlock programs. As of 2018, every U.S. jurisdiction makes ignition interlock devices available within the construct of an administrative, judicial, or hybrid program. AAMVA also developed an Ignition Interlock Law Enforcement Training Video which provides education to law enforcement officers in how to properly interact with an ignition interlock device.

AAMVA recognizes the mobility of society and how people who are participating in a jurisdiction ignition interlock program may move to another jurisdiction before completing the program. There may also be several agencies within a jurisdiction involved in different aspects of an ignition interlock program. Consistency in program terminology allows for a clearer understanding of requirements and processes. 

AAMVA has partnered with the Association of Ignition Interlock Program Administrators (AIIPA) on work related to ignition interlock. AIIPA provides education and training programs to assist stakeholders in ignition interlock program development. AIIPA adopted its Standardized Vocabulary & Standardized Best Practice Recommendations for ignition interlocks which is included in AAMVA's Ignition Interlock Programs Best Practice. AAMVA encourages jurisdictions to use this best practice along with other AIIPA resources to enhance their own ignition interlock programs.             
AAMVA also partnered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) who in 2013 published Model Guideline for State Ignition Interlock Programs. This document compliments AAMVA's Ignition Interlock Best Practices Guide and serves as an additional resource to help members enhance programs. NHTSA also publishes model specifications for performance and uniform testing of breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIID). These guidelines contain a variety of test procedures recommended for BAIID units. NHTSA has been a supporter of ignition interlock programs since inception and AAMVA encourages members to use these and other NHTSA resources when developing and upgrading their program.   
AAMVA's Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs Policy Position supports member use of the AAMVA Ignition Interlock Program Best Practice Guide and supports 24/7 programs to augment ignition interlock programs or to use in lieu of ignition interlocks when the nearest certified ignition interlock service provider is over 100 miles away.

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