Many states use ignition interlocks to help cut down on repeat drunk driving offenses, and Tennessee is one of those states. An ignition interlock device requires a driver to pass a breathalyzer test before he or she can start the vehicle. If you have a device on your vehicle and you try to drive after drinking, the car will not start. You must pass the test for the ignition to unlock and allow you to start the vehicle. How each state uses these devices varies.
In Tennessee, the National Conference of State Legislatures explains there are mandatory rules about ignition interlock device use. If the court provides you with restricted driving privileges, you will only have permission to drive a vehicle with an ignition interlock device if you had an accident, a minor in your vehicle at the time of the DUI, a blood alcohol level over 0.08% or if you did not abide by the implied consent law and had a prior DUI violation, open container violation or implied consent violation within five years.
You must use the device for your whole restricted driving period and then six months after. The condition to only drive a vehicle with the device in it is part of your probation. If law enforcement finds you driving a vehicle without a device, then it is a probation violation.
You must also maintain the device while it is in use in your vehicle. Any damage, intentional or otherwise, is your responsibility. You may violate your probation if you try to remove or alter the device.