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Do Interlock Devices Have Cameras?

Many states require offenders arrested for drunk driving to install an ignition interlock device if they wish to regain driving privileges. State laws around DUI, OUI, DWI, and OWI vary, as each state determines its own laws and penalties around drunk driving. 

This includes the type of ignition interlock device that is required. Some states require the interlock device to have a camera, which captures the driver’s image as they take the required Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) test. The camera helps ensure that the driver does not tamper with the device or have someone else take the test for them. If your interlock device is mandated, it will be clear what type of device you need to install, and a list of approved installers will be provided. 

Can Ignition Interlock Devices Have Cameras?

Yes, though not all of them do. There are models with and without cameras that are widely available. The popularity of devices with cameras has grown and many car breathalyzers and ignition interlock devices come equipped with cameras. 

The cameras do not take random photos or videos, so drivers do not have to worry about their privacy if they install one. The camera will simply snap a photo each time the driver provides a breath sample for testing. It will not take random photos when the device is not in use. 

Why Are Interlocks With Cameras Growing More Popular?

Many states are now implementing the camera requirement because it prevents device tampering. The camera verifies that the driver is providing the breath sample, not attempting to bypass the device by having someone else blow into it. If others in the household use the camera, it can provide evidence that the customer was not the one behind the wheel if needed. However, all violations and test failures are recorded, and even if the offender was not driving at the time of the failed sample, it will still count as a violation. 

Many households share vehicles, and all drivers are then required to use the IID if they drive the vehicle. Even though the offender may not be the actual person who failed the BrAC test, they are ultimately responsible for any failures. In states with compliance-based interlock policies, repeated violations can result in a longer interlock term or further penalties.  

States That Require a Camera With a Car Breathalyzer?

Currently, these states have IID with camera requirements:

Arkansas (only if court-ordered)California (only if requested by probation)
ColoradoConnecticut (only if requested by probation)Delaware
Louisiana (only if court-ordered)Maine (only if court-ordered)Maryland
MichiganMinnesotaMississippi (only if court-ordered)
Missouri (only if required by the court or DOR)Montana (only if court-ordered)Nebraska
NevadaNew HampshireNew Mexico (only if court-ordered)
New YorkOhioOklahoma (only if court-ordered)
OregonPennsylvaniaSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexas (varies by county)

If you’re unsure if you need a device with a camera, it should be made clear during court proceedings, or your attorney can help you determine what type you need to install.

How Do Interlock Cameras Work?

To understand how ignition interlock device cameras work, first, you need to understand how the devices are installed. Ignition interlock devices are wired directly into the vehicle’s ignition and thus prevent the car from being started without a passing breath sample. 

The camera is often installed on the upper right side of the windshield. It is intended to take a photo of the driver during testing. Others are allowed to drive the vehicle, but they must provide a breath sample and their photo will be captured. 

The camera does not record or take photos except during testing. It is a violation of the interlock policy to tamper with the device by blocking or moving the camera. Violations can result in an extended interlock term. This is important to understand, and drivers should also be mindful of hanging anything in the car’s interior that could interfere with the view, like air fresheners or other decorations. 

If you still have questions, Interlock.com is here to help. We can answer your questions and help you find approved interlock providers who can install an IID with a camera.