You pledged to stick by your spouse in sickness and in health, for better and for worse, and that includes an ignition interlock requirement. If your husband or wife has to install a car breathalyzer due to a drunk driving conviction, it’s not the end of the world. You can stick by them, help them get through the program, and help keep life as normal as possible.
- You can use the vehicle too. Anyone can use an interlock-equipped vehicle provided they learn how to do a breath test, which should only take a few minutes.
- If you use the vehicle, the same rules about alcohol apply to you. You must also not drink when driving. If you fail your breath test, your spouse will be held responsible, and this could result in an extended interlock requirement or other penalty.
- Your spouse must only use an interlock-equipped vehicle. If you have a vehicle that is not equipped with an interlock, your spouse cannot drive it. Don’t offer it – to do so would be a big mistake.
In addition, it’s worth noting that your spouse will have to bring the vehicle in for regular monitoring appointments, so that the data logs can be downloaded. This usually takes 20 minutes or so.
And above all, the one rule you must always keep in mind:
- Never, ever blow a breath test in place of an impaired driver. You will be held just as responsible for any DUI arrest or collision.
The best way to look at your spouse’s interlock is as an opportunity to put good sober driving habits back in place. Once your spouse gets through the program – with your support and encouragement – he or she will have racked up months of sober driving. That’s a good start. Ultimately the ignition interlock is only ensuring a practice that should be in place anyway – driving without drinking.