Lincoln, Neb.-- Ignition interlocks are supposed to give people guilty of a DUI the opportunity to drive, but ignoring court orders can cost you more than money.
They're attached to the starter wires on the driver's side of the vehicle. Before the car will start, the driver has to breathe into the lock. If it detects any alcohol at all, the car will not start.
In some cases, it acts as an alternative to having a revoked license or probation, according to state probation officer Gene Cotter.
However, some are ignoring these court ordered devices.
"We've seen a spike in people that we encounter on traffic stops that don't have devices installed," Jeff Bliemeister, deputy chief of the Lancaster County Sheriff's office said, "although they're required to."
Bliemeister said those caught are charged with a class 4 felony, which includes a fine and up to five years in prison.
"What's happening," Bliemeister said, "is that the person is required to get an ignition interlock installed.
"Well, they don't do that."
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, this could be for any reason. One possible explanation is the cost.
For every month a convicted DUI driver drives with ones of these locks installed, they have to pay a $70 maintenance fee.
Chris Nelson, who works with Interlock Company, said there's also a removal fee at the end of the process.
According to the Department of Roads, about 4,000 Nebraska had these devices in their cars as of July 2013 (the most recently available statistics).
But, despite the recent hiccups, Sheriff's officials say the devices have a mostly positive impact on the community.
"If the court order is followed," Bliemeister said, "it benefits society, because it allows the motorist who has been convicted of this not to be further punished, by not being able to drive to work or drive their kids to school."