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Understanding Ignition Interlock Devices and Why Tricks Won’t Work

Ignition interlock devices are crucial in preventing drunk driving incidents and protecting road safety. These devices act as in-car breathalyzers, designed to analyze a driver’s breath for alcohol content before allowing the vehicle to start. While interlock programs have been successful in reducing drunk driving rates, some individuals may attempt to trick or bypass these devices. It’s important to understand that such attempts are discouraged and can lead to severe legal consequences. 

Here’s a closer look at some common tricks people try and why they are ineffective:

  1. Having Someone Else Blow into the Device:
    • Attempt: Some may think that having a sober individual blow into the interlock device will allow them to start the car.
    • Reality: Interlock devices come equipped with cameras to prevent this deception. Any attempt to use someone else’s breath will be recorded, and legal penalties will follow.
  1. Starting the Car and Then Consuming Alcohol:
    • Attempt: Drivers may try to start the vehicle while sober and then consume alcohol during the journey, assuming they can continue driving without detection.
    • Reality: Interlock devices require periodic rolling retests while the vehicle is in motion. These retests prompt the driver to provide breath samples at random intervals. Suppose alcohol is detected during a rolling retest. In that case, the device will trigger alarms, such as honking the horn and flashing lights.
  1. Attempting to Remove the Interlock Device:
    • Attempt: Some may consider physically removing the interlock device from their vehicle to bypass its functionality.
    • Reality: Removing an interlock device is a complex task. The installation and removal of these devices require specialized training and tools. Even if someone manages to remove it, the device will alert authorities, and legal consequences will follow.
  1. Using Compressed Air or Balloons with Others’ Breath:
    • Attempt: Some believe using compressed air cans or balloons filled with someone else’s breath can trick the breathalyzer.
    • Reality: Breathalyzers are designed to detect alcohol deep in the lungs, not in the mouth or stomach. They may prompt users to perform specific actions like humming or breathing in, making such tricks ineffective.
  1. Putting Coins in the Mouth or Consuming Peanut Butter:
    • Attempt: There are myths suggesting that putting coins in the mouth or consuming peanut butter can influence breathalyzer results by dissolving alcohol.
    • Reality: These tricks are scientifically unsound. Breathalyzers measure alcohol content in the lungs, and substances in the mouth or stomach do not impact the results.


In conclusion, attempting to trick ignition interlock devices is discouraged and rarely successful. These devices are equipped with various features to prevent tampering, and any attempts to deceive them will likely lead to legal consequences. It’s essential to prioritize safe and responsible driving practices, such as abstaining from alcohol consumption when operating a vehicle, to ensure the safety of all road users.

If you have legal concerns related to alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado, seeking professional guidance from experts like Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, a law firm specializing in this field, is highly recommended.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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