What is an alkolock, its types and principle of operation

Is it possible to cheat an alco-lock

Alcohol-related accidents lead the statistics of all accidents in general. Alcoholism behind the wheel brings the state billions of dollars in losses and loss of gross domestic product due to cargo and property damage and loss of life. In order to change the situation, alcohol locks or blockers were invented. Let’s understand their structure and principle of work.

Car Locks

What are they

Alkolocker is designed to prevent a person infected with alcohol vapors to drive a vehicle. It consists of two modules. The first one is installed directly in the cabin, the driver blows there. And the second end is fixed on the ignition circuit. And its design is simple: an identical to the police breathalyzer, a control unit and a loop that connects to the ignition.

The scheme of work

Breathalyzer works according to the following algorithm:

  • The driver activates the on-board system by turning the key.
  • Alko-lock automatically locks the engine.
  • Then the traditional alcohol test takes place.
  • Depending on the results of the Alcolock measurements, the lock reports whether the driver is allowed or blocked to drive the car.

Alkolock in the car

Benefit for all

The use of alcohol locks is a guarantee of safety for passengers, consignors and consignees. The likelihood of getting behind the wheel of a drunk driver is greatly reduced. Alkolockers are popular with transportation company owners who prioritize comfort and responsibility in working with clients. The likelihood of death, pedestrian and car damage is reduced by 60-70%.

Breathalyzer for a driver

The disadvantage of breathalyzers is the price. Reliable models are expensive, and inexpensive counterparts can malfunction. Among the complaints are exceeding or decreasing of alcohol content in blood. And some models can even make a completely sober citizen drunk, mistaking a couple of kefir, especially home-made.

How to cheat the device

Another disadvantage of alcohol locks – they will block the engine even with a slight degree of alcohol intoxication, when the traffic police still allows to sit behind the wheel. But the temptation to get behind a wheel on a burst of bravado can be and red driver at a moderate and heavy intoxication. Many drivers are looking for a way to cheat the device. But do they stand a chance?

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Breathing into the alcohol lock

In one of the special reports journalists of the TV channel Moscow 24 conducted a social experiment. A journalist posing as a drunk asked passersby to breathe into a tube to unlock the alcohol lock. Every third person agreed to help. Naturally, the journalists explained the consequences of such an act for the alcoholic and unwitting helper. In case the driver was involved in a traffic accident and hit a pedestrian, the investigating authorities could classify the deed as murder or attempted murder by a group of people by prior conspiracy. The driver’s assistant would additionally get an article for harboring a criminal. The total term is from 15 years and above.

This method of deception carries additional risks. Together with his exhalation, the unwitting helper can carry pathogens of dangerous diseases. A drunk driver may forget to disinfect the device and capture them the next time he breathes in. The consequences for the car owner will be sad.

But fooling the breathalyzer is not so easy ideally. After a successful test, the system will analyze the exhalation and detect a trick. The driver will get a warning about the upcoming test and then the truth will come out. A sudden stop could not only cause an accident, but also attract the attention of other drivers. Similarly, a flashing and honking car will arouse the suspicion of inspectors and chauffeurs. The activation of the alarm indicates the refusal of the breathalyzer.


Breathalyzer is the best gift to the driver from caring parents, friends or colleagues. It will not be appreciated by everyone at first, but only until the moment of salvation from the temptation to get behind the wheel in a drunken state. Because the cost of drunk driving can be too high.

How Breathalyzer Works. Relevant to carsharing



How does the alcohol lock work. Important for carsharing

90% of all traffic accidents in Russia in 2020 were caused by drunk drivers.

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Drunk driving is a sore subject for every country in the world. One solution to the problem is a breathalyzer. This is such a breathalyzer, built into the car. The device determines the level of alcohol in the exhaled air. If the driver passes the test, the car starts, does not pass, then no.

Let’s examine in more detail how it works, where it is used, and when it will appear in Russia.

How does the alcohol lock work?

The task of the alkolock – to prevent the movement of the car under the control of the driver with alcohol in the blood . To perform this task, the device is installed on board the vehicle and included in the ignition circuit.

The hardware of the system consists of an Alcolock, a control unit and connection cables. The Alcolock communicates with the driver through the Alcolock – through messages on the display and sound signals.

When the driver turns the key into the ignition switch and turns on the onboard power, the Alcolock is activated. The Breathalyzer turns on and, after a self-test procedure, prompts the driver to take an alcohol test to start the engine.

The driver exhales into the mouthpiece, the Breathalyzer measures the alcohol content, the control unit analyzes the result. If no alcohol is detected, the display of the breathalyzer indicates that the test was passed and the driver can start the engine. If, however, alcohol is detected, the control unit prevents it from turning on.

In Russia, the programming of system functions, reading, processing and analysis of the recorded data is provided by Alkovizor software, which is installed in control centers.

In 2019, the Moscow City Duma considered the option of equipping cabs and carsharing with alkolocks. Here’s how Alexei Shaposhnikov, the chairman of the capital’s parliament, described the mechanics of the devices: “The driver is invited to blow into a special mouthpiece, and if the device detects an excess of alcohol 0.2 ppm, the car is automatically blocked from starting.”

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Is it really impossible to fool the breathalyzer?

The most logical trick is to ask a sober friend to blow into the device so it doesn’t detect alcohol. The problem is that the breathalyzer requires you to measure your alcohol level more than once per trip.

It can ask for a re-measurement at any time while you are driving. If the retest is not done or the presence of alcohol is detected, the interlock system does not prevent the vehicle from moving, but activates a sound and light alarm using the on-board lights and horn.

If the driver decides to start the engine bypassing the interlock system, he can do so, but the control unit memory stores all instances of unauthorized engine starting.

In which countries is the alco-lock used?

▪ In the European Union, a law on breathalyzers has already been passed – from 2022, all vehicles manufactured in the EU must be equipped with them.

▪ Breathalyzers have been used in Sweden since the late 1990s.

In the world, they are mainly installed in the cars of those who have been caught driving drunk before. And the driver pays for the installation and use – in Australia, using an alcohol lock costs about $2,200 a year.

▪ In Lithuania it is possible to reduce the term of deprivation of driving license, if you agree with installation of interlock.

Researches show that alcohol lock is 40-95% more effective than legal sanctions – fines or deprivation of driving license. According to the UK Department, recidivism rates dropped by 28-65% after they were installed. The study found that bumper locks must be installed everywhere to have an effect, because once the lock is removed, the number of recidivism increases.

What about Russia?

In Russia, the possible introduction of auto locks has been discussed for the past eight years. So far, however, the initiatives do not go beyond ideas.

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▶ In 2010 they were tested on school buses in Tatarstan and Ivanovo, but never got beyond the experiment.

▶ In 2013, the “Just Russia” proposed to oblige drivers convicted of drunken driving to install the breathalyzers at their own expense, but the bill was rejected.

▶ The Ministry of Industry and Trade once again proposed introducing them in 2020.

▶ Alexander Yevsin, deputy head of the Traffic Management Center in Moscow, suggested that every carshare car be equipped with alcohol locks. This is one of the measures designed to reduce the accident rate among rental cars.

What prevents from introducing smart locks in Russia?

Lack of infrastructure for car locks maintenance.

Here is what Vyacheslav Lysakov, the deputy chairman of State building committee of the State Duma, says: “There is no normative base, no standards and no infrastructure for tampering with the locks. There should be a connection between the alcohol locks and the police, so that trying to drive drunk would be considered an “aggravating circumstance.

It is also unclear at whose expense the alcohol locks will be installed in the car – the driver or the manufacturer. In the first case the car prices will rise – one anti-theft lock costs from 25 to 120 thousand rubles.

“If the locks are installed at the expense of the car manufacturers, it will lead to an increase in car prices. Why should a driver, who does not drink at all, have to pay extra for an alcohol lock? – says Vyacheslav Lysakov, first deputy chairman of the State Construction Committee of the State Duma.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade planned to develop a “concept of implementation of mass consumption” of alcohol locks by the end of 2020, reported Kommersant. It is not known whether the department has fulfilled the task.



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