Ignition Interlock Program

If you are required to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program (IIP), you will receive a letter outlining the program’s requirements and information about the decision made with respect to your driving privileges.

An ignition interlock is a device wired into the vehicle’s ignition system that requires the driver of the vehicle to provide a breath sample before attempting to drive. The device must register an alcohol-free breath sample or the vehicle will not start. The device records all activity, including any attempts to disconnect, bypass or tamper with it.

The IIP helps drivers separate drinking from driving, and research has proven that interlock devices help to reduce the occurrence of further alcohol-related driving incidents.

The device requires that the driver provide his or her breath sample at random intervals to ensure that they have not consumed alcohol. If the sample shows alcohol is present, the interlock device will record the program violation and prompt the driver to pull over and turn the engine off.

Drivers enrolled in the program will have to attend an installation centre 30 days after initial installation, and regularly thereafter, for maintenance and so that the data recorded by the device can be downloaded.  RoadSafetyBC closely monitors drivers’ participation in the program. 

Program Violations

Program violations include failing a breath test, tampering with the device, or driving a vehicle without an interlock device, and may result in a driver’s term in the program being extended, a new term imposed or the driver being prohibited from driving. Furthermore, failure to attend a regular scheduled maintenance appointment may result in your interlock device entering a permanent lockout state, effectively disabling your vehicle. This may result in your removal from the IIP, cancellation of your driver’s licence, and/or legal action to recover the interlock device or its assessed value. You are also responsible for anyone who uses your ignition interlock device and you will be held responsible for any program violations that occur as a result.

For further information on how the device works, making arrangements to get your vehicle outfitted with the ignition interlock device, or any other questions regarding the IIP, contact Smart Start Canada at http://www.smartstartcanada.ca/ (see ‘Locations’ for an installation centre near you).

Medical Exemptions

If you have a chronic medical condition that prevents you from providing the volume of breath needed to operate the interlock device, you may be eligible for an exemption to your ignition interlock requirement. Your first step in determining your ability to operate the interlock device is to contact Smart Start Canada and arrange an installation appointment. If you are unable to operate the device at the required volume of breath, you will need to contact RoadSafetyBC at 1-855-387-7747 and ask for a Request for Medical Exemption form. RoadSafetyBC will confirm with Smart Start Canada that you made a reasonable attempt to operate the interlock device and were unable to do so. A Request for Medical Exemption form will then be mailed or faxed to you. You will need to take this form to a licenced medical practitioner (physician) to be completed and returned to RoadSafetyBC. Once the form has been reviewed, you will be advised in writing as to the status of your ignition interlock requirement.


  • Ignition Interlock Program
  • Smart Start Canada – http://www.smartstartcanada.ca  
  • See Fees for Services for costs of the Ignition Interlock Program.
  • Your driving record shows when your original licence was issued and any driving offences and infractions from the last five years.  You can access your driving record free online or from a mobile device at icbc.com/drivingrecords.

If you prefer, you may also visit a Driver Licensing Office or call ICBC at 1-800-950-1498 to request a copy of your driving record.