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Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: How They Compare

Ignition interlock devices are used by most states to prevent drunk driving. When an individual is convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense, they must get an ignition interlock device, or IID, installed. Sometimes these devices are referred to as car breathalyzers, or breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIID).

Ignition interlock device overview

Many companies provide ignition interlock devices, but a provider must be approved by the state in order to provide interlocks mandated by the court. The interlock devices are monitored by each state’s monitoring authority, and results are reported to the state. Intoxalock and LifeSafer both have many years of experience providing car breathalyzers and monitoring services.




Device Design
  • Four buttons
  • Must be able to read device screen to operate or retest while driving
  • One button
  • No need to look at device while driving to operate or retest
Blow Pattern
  • Difficult blow-hum-blow pattern that causes frequent lockouts
  • Simple blow-inhale-blow pattern that's easy to master and perform even while driving
  • Fewer installation locations than Intoxalock, with 1,200+
  • Has more installation locations than any other provider, with 5,000+ and 91% of customers within 15 miles of a location
  • $2.50 to $3.50 a day
  • $2.50 a day, with an optional device protection plan for $10 a month
  • Available via phone and email, with 48 hour turnaround for email inquiries
  • Available 24/7/365 via phone, chat, and email

Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: Design

Intoxalock devices feature a one-button design, and users just need to push the button to start the device. The simple device displays when it is ready to rest, and then the user will submit their breath sample. 

The simple design comes in handy for retesting, because drivers can easily perform without having to fumble with buttons.

LifeSafer’s design is more involved. Their portable breathalyzer has four buttons, and settings are customizable. The device can be used as a portable monitor or a car breathalyzer. This means that when using the device in a car, the driver has to turn the key halfway to power the device.

Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: Blow pattern

Another key difference between LifeSafer and Intoxalock is the different breath patterns each provider uses.

Intoxalock’s blow pattern is the simplest on the market. The blow-inhale-blow pattern requires drivers to put the mouthpiece in their mouth and blow, then inhale deeply, then blow again with removing their mouth. This simple pattern is easy for drivers to master.

LifeSafer uses a blow and hum method, which many users say is hard to do correctly. The difficulty of blowing and humming into the mouthpiece for several seconds is a struggle that can lead to unnecessary lockouts for some, because failure to correctly submit a sample can be recorded as a failed sample.

Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: Installation locations

Ignition interlock devices have to be regularly calibrated to ensure accuracy. Also, they may need additional maintenance if they become damaged during use. Calibration is typically done every 30-90 days, requiring ignition interlock device users to visit a service center multiple times during their interlock term. A certified technician must perform the calibration.

Intoxalock has the most authorized installation locations of any provider, which makes it easy for customers to find a convenient shop. In fact, 91 percent of customers live within 15 miles of a certified Intoxalock installer. Intoxalock has more than 5,000 locations nationwide.

LifeSafer has fewer locations, which means that some customers may need to travel farther to find a location. This can grow inconvenient with all the repeat visits that are required. 

Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: Pricing and payment

Interlock users are required to cover the cost for leasing the device if a device is mandated as a condition following a DUI offense. Intoxalock has flexible payment options. Customers can pay bi-monthly or monthly, update their method of payment, and use their checking account to make payments in the app. 

If a customer does not have a credit or debit card, Intoxalock customers can mail checks. The flexible payment options allow all customers a chance to meet their court-mandated obligations.

LifeSafer allows payment on their website, but users have to create an account. No app payment option exists, but LifeSafer customers can use a third-party app called Prism to pay monthly fees. The app is free, but users do risk having to pay a $15 fine if their payment is returned. 

Intoxalock vs. LifeSafer: Support

Intoxalock has state specialists who are well-versed in the rules and regulations of each state. They can help guide anyone through the process. Customer support is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via online, chat, and phone. Customers in need can count on finding help at any time of day.

LifeSafer also has support available 365 days a year, but there is a 48 hour turnaround for email support. LifeSafer also does not have a chat option.