If you’ve been ordered by a judge to install an ignition interlock system in your vehicle, you may have a number of questions. The best people to ask are your attorney, the judge, or a court clerk. However, we can also talk about one very important topic here, which is the price of an ignition interlock and how it gets paid.
Leasing an Ignition Interlock Device
In most cases, you’ll actually be leasing the ignition interlock device. This is done for a number of reasons. One, you hopefully won’t need the machine after you’ve used it for the court-ordered length of time. Two, this way the court can be sure you’re using a certified device and not some after-market an imposter that may not keep you and others safe. Three, the state can save money by not having to continuously buy new machines (though the mouthpiece is obviously replaced).
The cost to lease one will generally depend on where you live. Usually, however, you can expect to pay as much as $2.50 a day. At the low end, you’ll probably be paying about $60 a month. Again, however, prices can vary greatly, meaning you can also wind up spending $100 on a monthly basis, just for the machine.
Installing an Ignition Interlock Device
No matter how handy you are with cars, you’re not allowed to install your own ignition interlock device. Instead, you have visit a mechanic who has been approved by the state to handle this service.
Here, too, the price will vary significantly. You can try shopping around for the best deal, but the price is usually going to hover right around $100. In some states, though, you could see that price get as high as $200.
There are also a number of other fees to consider if you need an ignition interlock device installed in your car. The main one will be getting your license reinstated. After being convicted of drinking and driving, your license will get suspended. Simply agreeing to have an ignition interlock device installed isn’t going to do you much good if you get pulled over and are found to be operating a motor vehicle without a license.
The application fee for getting your license reinstated can easily be close to $700, though every state is different. You definitely want to keep this receipt too, in case there’s some confusion down the line.
Another thing you’ll have to do is check in monthly to have your machine assessed. Authorities want to see if you’ve tried starting the car without using the device and, of course, if you’ve failed at all. This will usually cost $25 a month.
All of these costs fall on you and will need to be paid upfront via cash, check or credit card. In some situations, you may be able to work out a payment plan.
It’s definitely easier to simply not drink and drive in the first place. However, as you can see, having an ignition interlock device installed will cost you. If you simply want one installed for your own personal use as a precaution, obviously those fees will be cut down considerably.