Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (EAD) – Things to know

In 2017, 1,035 people lost their lives in a road accident involving a driver above the authorized blood alcohol limit.

The alcohol interlock is one of the levers used to limit the number of alcohol-impaired motorists on the roads and thus reduce the number of traffic accidents.


What is the alcohol ignition interlock (EAD)

Drunk driving is dangerous for yourself and other road users. This is why driving with an alcohol level that exceeds 0.5 grams per liter of blood is prohibited by law.

Since September 18, 2018, a decree has been put in place to force motorists who are used to driving with a criminal alcohol level to use an alcohol ignition interlock device.

It measures the alcohol level in the air exhaled by the driver who wishes to drive the vehicle.

The device prevents it from starting if the recorded blood alcohol level is greater than or equal to 0.5 grams of alcohol per liter of blood.

The AED records data such as the number of times the driver has huffed, blood alcohol level, dates and times the driver took the wheel.

The tool has been used for several years in Canada, the United States, Austria, Holland, Sweden and Finland.

Why equip your vehicle with an EAD

Everyone can voluntarily equip their vehicle with this device. However, some have to.

These are people suffering from alcoholism observed and confirmed by a doctor as well as individuals constrained by the courts or the prefectural administration for having committed the following offenses and offences:

  1. Driving while under the influence of alcohol
  2. Driving offense while notoriously intoxicated
  3. Refusal to comply during an alcohol test
  4. Recurrence of driving under the influence of alcohol or hallucinogenic substances or drugs
  5. Murder or unintentional injuries caused by driving under the influence of alcohol
  6. Repeated refusal to submit to alcohol or drug tests.

Following the judge’s decision, the clerk responsible for enforcing the decision issues the driver at fault a certificate, in exchange for his driving license.

This certificate clearly mentions that the individual can drive provided that the vehicle is equipped with an EAD.

In the event of non-compliance with this decision, the driver can be sentenced to 2 years in prison with a fine of 4,500 euros and a cancellation of the driving license for a maximum of 3 years or up to 5 years of driving ban. Otherwise, the motorist can be sentenced to community service.

If the driver multiplies the crimes, he risks the confiscation of his vehicle. And if he rigs the EAD, he incurs a fine of up to 1,500 euros.

This sanction is also valid for a person who uses the EAD instead of the driver.

How to use an alcohol interlock

Two breaths are necessary. The 1st allows the vehicle to be started if the driver respects the limit of 0.1 mg/l for novice drivers or 0.25 mg/l of exhaled air.

A 2nd blast occurs randomly between 5 and 30 min after starting the vehicle.

The objective is to ensure that the driver is not in a phase of increasing alcohol consumption or that a third party has not blown in his place during the 1st test.

Buy or rent an EAD – What to do

The EAD is an approved device. It must be fitted in the vehicle by an installer approved by the prefecture.

In addition, its verification must be carried out annually in an approved establishment. Otherwise, the EAD will prevent the vehicle from starting.

Installation and operating costs of the EAD are the responsibility of the driver. Note that the device is available for rent, for 100€/month, or for purchase, around 1300€.

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