Travis County IID Vendors RANKED!
It’s never fun to install an ignition interlock in your car, but if you are court-ordered, you will need to find a vendor to install one. This video ranks the 6 approved vendors in Travis County. Now, even though we’re ranking all 6, there is a clear winner in my opinion, so if you want to skip to the end, feel free.
This blog is for educational purposes and is not legal advice. If you do want legal advice for your specific situation, fill out the contact form at atx.legal/contact – that will go directly to my email and we can set up a consultation.
You might think the only important factor is price. However, as you’ll see, other factors are actually going to be more important for most people. A device that is not installed correctly can drain your battery. I had one client whose vehicle shut off while in motion and she had to have it towed.
Another important factor is customer service. Some companies will not allow a removal even after a judge has ordered it, because they are waiting for notice directly from pretrial services. This can cause significant delays, and in some cases it can be next to impossible to have your IID removed, even when you were not court ordered, and had the IID installed voluntarily!
The main criteria I am using for the rankings are: Price (install and monthly fees), Convenience of locations (for install and calibrations), Customer Service, Proficiency of Technicians, and Deal Breakers
- Lifesafer (not recommended)
I never recommend Lifesafer. The use extremely deceptive practices in their marketing that are severe enough for me to call their ethics into question. For a more full description, check out my most recent blog. Another red flag is that they were the only vendor on this list who refused to provide a price when I called. These are deal breakers and Lifesafer is not recommended.
- Intoxalock (not recommended)
Price: 200-300 install / 100 monthly
It’s hard to overstate how bad their customer service is. A judge recently shared that she waited on hold for over an hour before she was able to reach someone with authority to remove the IID. If this is how they treat an elected judge, imagine how they will treat you! Additionally, they are the priciest on this list. For these reasons, avoid Intoxalock!
3. (tie). Guardian and Alcalock
Guardian Price: 70-170 install / 50-120 monthly
Alcolock price 54 install / 120 monthly
At 3rd place we have a tie between Guardian and Alcalock. I do not have much information about these vendors as they are smaller than the others on this list. That tells you everything you need to know about Lifesafer and Intoxalock, as I would put even an unknown company ahead of both of them.
Guardian and Alcolock only have 2 locations each in Austin. This can be a big factor because you will need to drive to the location every month for calibration. Be certain you have a location nearby before going with either of these vendors.
Because of the unknowns and potential inconvenience associated with these two companies, I only rank them third. It’s possible that they will be more highly recommended once I become more familiar.
- Road Guard (formerly Draeger)
Price: 100 install / 98 monthly
In addition to being one of the lowest priced vendors, Road Guard (who recently rebranded from Draeger) offered to waive the installation fee and first monthly payment. This promo would make them the least expensive vendor by far.
Unfortunately, I have had huge problems dealing with their customer service, leading to IIDs remaining on the vehicle long after they should have been removed. Additionally, their technicians have improperly installed the IID on my client’s vehicles multiple times, draining the vehichle’s battery
Therefore, the ONLY reason to choose Road Guard is price. However, if that’s the main criteria for you, it may be the best option. Just be ready to deal with headaches.
- Smart Start
Price: 100 install / 88 monthly (with autopay)
SmartStart’s pricing is middle-of-the-road, but they have the best customer service, most locations, and I’ve had the least problems with their technicians (though there have been issues.) If you’ve had experience with Smart Start and are in disbelief that they are the vendor I recommend the most, I don’t blame you. All of these companies are terrible. However, SmartStart has been the least terrible in my experience.
So there you have it. If it were me installing an IID on my vehicle, I would choose SmartStart, an imperfect solution, but the best of the bad options. I hope you found this post informative. If you’ve been arrested for DWI and have more questions, you can reach out at www.atx.legal/contact