Alcohol Addiction Treatments Increasing Use of Technologies for Recovery and Monitoring. Guest post written by Kristin Hopper-Losenicky

Alcohol Addiction Treatments Increasing Use of Technologies for Recovery and Monitoring


recoveryA device commonly used by those caught driving under the influence of alcohol is gaining in popularity among other drivers. Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are technology increasingly used by people struggling with alcohol use or addiction.


A company called Intoxalock manufactures and services ignition interlocks for vehicles, commonly known as a car or vehicle breathalyzer. Intoxalock also offers in-home alcohol monitoring systems (Home Monitoring Units or HMUs). The primary group of customers served by Intoxalock for the past 25 years are those who have been required by the court system to install and use an ignition interlock device following a DUI/DWI conviction. As IIDs and HMUs have grown in popularity among users seeking treatment or recovery, the company now serves voluntary device users across all 50 states.


For those who opt to use an IID voluntarily, the device and reporting system has many benefits. Clients who are looking for a daily ritual to demonstrate to themselves and any loved ones that they are sober, the device provides that kind of accountability. For those who are receiving treatment from a medical professional who is interested in sobriety and measurement of any alcohol levels, the device can deliver reports to user-requested parties such as a doctor or treatment counselor, or a family member or other supporter for reassurance and accountability.


How does an IID work? The device is a small handheld unit that is connected to the electrical system of a vehicle through the panel under the steering wheel. A user will blow a breath sample into the device, and the device will detect if any alcohol is present. A clean sample will result in the device prompting the driver to start the car. If the IID detects any alcohol above a pre-set amount, the device will prevent the vehicle from being started.


For those recovering or maintaining sobriety, devices such as the vehicle IID, or the alternative form for at-home use called the HMU, give peace of mind, encouragement, and in the case of driving, protection against potential liabilities.


IIDs are the technology most likely to be required by state laws to curb drunk driving for a reason – because they are found to be highly effective. Regardless of whether a client is required to have the device, or is a voluntary user, the results are the same – high levels of safety. Statistics have demonstrated that states where ignition interlock laws are introduced, alcohol-involved fatalities declined by 8% or more (McGinty, 2017). Repeat drunk driving offenses were reduced by 58% in these locations (CA DMV, 2016).


There are many benefits to using a voluntary breathalyzer device that potential customers should consider:

– Personal commitment to regular check-ins.

– Proven results that can be delivered or accessed by your designated support system.

– Data that can be used to benchmark progress with a physician or therapist.

– A proven tool in achieving behavior modification towards risky alcohol consumption.

– A proven tool to separate drinking from driving.


Ultimately, if a relapse should occur, voluntary use of the device can prevent the loss of life or an injury.


One Intoxalock client shared his appreciation for the device and the role it played for his family. The device and reporting features provided them with peace of mind and played a part of their daughter’s overall treatment plan.


My daughter never received a citation for DWI. Her mom and I learned of her drinking problem and were counseled to get the device to protect her, ourselves, and anyone she might encounter on the road while impaired. It has been a very heart-wrenching road for her, and her family, but today she is sober, and working hard at life. We have reclaimed our daughter, her daughter has reclaimed her mother, and the family is mostly whole again. The device was a large part of our success and peace of mind, and we are very grateful.” – Bob, father of a voluntary Intoxalock customer.


Choosing to use an interlock device as part of your recovery could be a great choice for you if you are motivated by regular successes or perform better with regular accountability.


Allen, who is a voluntary client explains why he opted to use the IID, “I am trying to do good by my family and doctor by implementing an interlock.”


Anyone can inquire with Intoxalock about a Home Monitoring Unit (HMU). For those interested in an Intoxalock ignition interlock, it can be installed in any model of motor vehicle. Due to the fact that all voluntary devices do not require reporting to state governments, they are available at lower price points than legally-mandated devices. Voluntary devices are typically around $2.00 per day.


Opting for an IID or an HMU to voluntarily monitor sobriety, is opting for a tool that is proven to save lives. By providing results via reports, a schedule for check-ins, accountability to family, therapist or physicians, and preventing the capability of operating a vehicle while impaired installing an ignition interlock device is a safe, responsible, and effective step that should be carefully considered in the process of recovery and rehabilitation.



Kristin Hopper-Losenicky is the Assistant Marketing Manager for Content and Communications at Intoxalock. She had been with the company for the past year, and is passionate about the company’s goals to keep roads and people safe, and to help clients achieve positive results.