Ignition interlock FAQs
Find answers to your frequently asked questions about ignition interlocks including: what are ignition interlocks, installation, costs, discounts, lock outs, calibrations, rolling retests, tampering and how to avoid problems if you use your device correctly.
Q. What is an ignition interlock device (IID)?
A. An ignition interlock device is a car breathalyzer designed to prevent anyone under the influence from driving the vehicle. It requires a breath sample to be submitted below a pre-set state limit before it will allow the driver to start the vehicle. If the breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) is above the pre-set limit, the vehicle will not start. Ignition interlocks are also referenced as breath alcohol ignition interlock devices (BAIIDs)
Q. Do ignition interlocks reduce recidivism rates (repeat offenses)?
A. Ignition interlock devices decrease the re-arrest rate by up to 67%. They also allow people to be responsible and productive in their lives after a DUI by allowing them to drive legally and safely.
Q. Are ignition interlock devices held to any quality standards?
A. Yes, the Intoxalock as well as all ignition interlock devices must meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) requirements and pass vigorous testing from any state they want to be an approved provider in. Intoxalock passes or surpasses all requirements and has done so in the 40 states where we are an approved vendor. In addition, we have a technical assistance staff available 24/7 to help with any Intoxalock device issues and assure that our customer experience is positive with no problems or unresolved complaints.
Q. Will an Intoxalock damage my vehicle?
A. No, Intoxalock partners with installation locations across the country who are experts in working with a vehicle's electrical system. Our service center network is supported by our in-house experts who are continually working with new vehicles to ensure we are able to install safely in any type of vehicle.
Q. Will an Intoxalock device shut my vehicle off?
A. No, the Intoxalock can only prevent your vehicle from starting. Once you have successfully passed a test and started your vehicle, the Intoxalock can not affect the operation of your vehicle. It can, however, activate your horn and/or lights should a test be missed or failed as determined by your states regulations.
Q. How much does an Intoxalock cost?
A. The cost of Intoxalock starts at as little as $2.30 per day. The cost will vary depending on the features you are required to have and how long you need to have it installed for. You can also call (888) 283-5899 and ask one of our state experts if there are any discounts being offered in your area. Intoxalock representatives are trained to help you find the best price available to you.
Q. How does my monitoring authority know that I have an Intoxalock installed?
A. After your installation is complete, you will be given a Certificate of Installation. In many states, you are required to provide this document to your monitoring authority for review. In other states, we will electronically notify your state of the installation. We will let you know your states requirements when we schedule your installation.
Q. How long does it take to install an Intoxalock?
A. Most installations take less than an hour. However, depending on your vehicle, the appointment may take longer.
Q. Can I start my vehicle without taking a test?
A. No, you must provide a passing breath sample before your vehicle is allowed to start. Any tampering or attempted circumvention is recorded. This could affect your driving privileges, require a longer time with an ignition interlock installed or in many states, be considered a felony.
Q. What happens if I do not comply with an IID order?
A. Depending on your states regulations, you:
- May not be allowed to regain your unrestricted driving privileges until you have completed your ignition interlock requirements
- Have your ignition interlock restriction extended
- Be held in contempt
- Face additional fines
- Face additional jail time
Q. How do I activate an Intoxalock device?
A. There are two methods of submitting a breath sample depending on your states requirement. The most common is a simple blow/inhale/blow method that is like powerful breathing. The other is a straight blow method that requires a more forceful breath.
Q. Can other people operate my vehicle?
A. Of course, any licensed driver may drive your vehicle. They will, however, have to submit a breath sample to start your car and randomly while they drive just like you. We strongly suggest that you keep record of who drives your vehicle and when as you will be responsible for all of the information on the data log regardless of who was driving.
Q. Who takes the test, if I'm in the passenger seat and it's my account, do I have to blow?
A. Whoever is driving must take the test. It can be considered a felony if anyone other than the driver provides a breath sample.
Q. What is a rolling retest? How often do they happen? Why do I have to take them?
A. State regulation requires drivers to periodically submit additional breath samples while they drive to prove the continued absence of alcohol. Generally, within 4-8 minutes of starting your vehicle, the Intoxalock will ask for another breath sample. Then every 5-55 minutes, depending on your state's regulation, after that until the vehicle is shut off. If you do not feel comfortable providing the sample while you drive, Intoxalock will give you time to pull over. It is your responsibility to take each test as soon as you safely can.
Q. Can I leave my car running if I'm not in it?
A. No, it is impossible to know when a rolling retest will be requested. If the test is not taken within a timely manner, it can be considered a REFUSAL and your device may enter into a lock out.
Q. What is a calibration?
A. A calibration is the process of exchanging one device for another in order to download the data logs and make sure each unit is correctly calibrated.
Q. How is a calibration done?
A. In some states, we will automatically send your calibration to the address you specified. You will simply exchange the devices and send the expiring device back to Intoxalock. We will send a pre-paid mailing label to any customer with a lease longer than four months. In other states, you may be required to return to your service center for your calibration and a quick visual inspection.
Q. How long does a calibration take?
A. The actual process generally takes less than 15 minutes; however, if you do not schedule an appointment with your service center, you may have to wait for them to work you into their schedule. Check with your service center to find their preference on scheduling calibration appointments.
Q. What happens if I am out of state and experience problems with my Intoxalock unit?
A. Because Intoxalock is a national company and has the largest installation center network of any provider, we can help you in any state. We would caution however, before leaving your home state to check with your monitoring authority to make sure you are allowed to drive out-of-state. You should also verify with the state you will be going to, to make sure they will recognize your restricted license.
Q. What happens if I fail the breath test when I am trying to start my car?
A. Your vehicle will not start. In some states, your Intoxalock may enter into a temporary lock out. This means that for a few minutes you will be unable to submit another sample. Once the temporary lock out is over, you will be able to submit another sample. Once you pass the test you will be able to start your vehicle. In many states, too many failed attempts to start your vehicle will cause your device to go into a service lock out.
Q. Are there other sources of alcohol that an Intoxalock device could read?
A. Yes, there are many products that are alcohol based. However, contaminant alcohol quickly dissipates. We advise you to wait 10-15 minutes after eating, drinking anything other than water, or using any product that contains alcohol. If you do not, you run the risk of the Intoxalock returning a BrAC reading. A contaminant reading is NOT a false positive. You will be held responsible for all BrAC readings regardless of the source.
Q. What is a lock out?
A. A lock out is a state mandated function that will not allow you to start your vehicle. Depending on state requirements, Lock outs can be caused by blowing a BrAC that is above the state specific limit, blowing too many high BrAC's, failing to submit a breath sample or trying to tamper with or circumvent the system.
Q. What do I do if my vehicle stalls?
A. If your vehicle stalls, turn your key off. Within 2-4 seconds, your Intoxalock will recognize that your vehicle is off and start a 1-3 minute countdown. You may try to re-start your vehicle without submitting a breath sample as soon as the countdown appears.
Q. What is going to be reported to a monitoring authority?
A. Each state, and many times, each monitoring authority has their own requirements for what is reported to them. Every report contains the time and BrAC level of every breath sample, as well as the time of each requested sample even if it wasn't taken and any tampering that might have occurred. Other things that may be reported are missed calibrations, non–usage, photos or GPS location.
Q. What happens if the offender attempts to circumvent, disconnect, remove or tamper with the IID?
A. Any tampering or attempted circumvention is recorded. This could affect your driving privileges, require a longer time with an ignition interlock installed or in many states, be considered a felony.
Q. Why do you need my email?
A. There is a lot of important information that we provide you via email; shipment notification, calibration notification, account information, etc. We will not sell or share your email so you will only receive information regarding your Intoxalock.
Q. Can I mail my payment if I don't have a credit card?
A. Yes, you may mail a payment to Consumer Safety Technology, LLC, PO Box 8773, Carol Stream, IL 60197-8773. Please make sure to include the name on the account and your customer ID#.
Q. Do you have bilingual service?
A. Yes. Service, training, materials and technical support are offered in both English and Spanish.
Q. What happens if someone else blows into my Intoxalock and they are intoxicated? Am I held responsible?
A. Yes, you are responsible for every sample blown into your Intoxalock. However, we do recommend that you keep track of when anyone else drives or attempts to submit a breath sample.
Q. Can an ignition interlock be installed on a motorcycle?
A. No, because of the potential danger, we do not install on motorcycles.
Q. Can I buy an ignition interlock device?
A. No, you cannot purchase an Intoxalock or any other ignition interlock device that meets state safety standards. This can work to your benefit as we will take care of all of the maintenance and most of the repairs.
Q. Do you have a voluntary program?
A. Yes, if you have not been required by a court order or as a condition of regaining your driving privilege, but want to protect yourself or your loved one from the hazards of drunk driving, we can help you. You will be able to set the configurations for the device to fit your lifestyle while you're driving responsibly.