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Common Myths About Ignition Interlock Device Debunked

Installing an ignition interlock device can be confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with the devices and how they work. We’re here to debunk some of the most common myths and misconceptions people have about IIDs and how they work, so you can install your device with peace of mind.

Myths About Ignition Interlock Devices

Myth 1: Ignition Interlock Devices Are Easy to Tamper With

An ignition interlock device requires drivers to test their Breath Alcohol Content or BrAC, and pass before they can start their car. For many, this is an inconvenience and takes extra time, so they attempt to tamper with the device to avoid having to test. This will not work - if the interlock is mandated by the court or legal statute, all results and tampering attempts are reported to the state’s monitoring authority. Attempting to tamper with the device won’t work and could land the customer in legal trouble for violating the interlock policy. Instead of tampering, learn how to work your device properly to avoid any potential issues.

Myth 2: IIDs Are Hard to Use, or Not Dependable

It’s understandable to be concerned, but truthfully, interlock devices are easier to use than most tablets and smartphones. Interlock providers have made the devices simple to use, allowing customers to push a button and wait for the screen to show it’s ready for testing. Also, all interlock providers will show customers how the device works at the installation appointment, and most offer how-to videos online as well. In order to remain compliant with state criteria, interlock devices go through rigorous testing and quality control testing to ensure they are reliable and can survive in extreme weather. 

Myth 3: It's Easy to Bypass an Ignition Interlock With an Air Device

Some interlock users may think it’s easy to fool their interlock device with fake breath samples, like an air compressor or balloon. This will not work - the device is sophisticated and will notice the difference in the makeup of human breath versus machine-made compressed air. Additionally, interlock devices typically require a specific breath pattern, like blow-hum-blow, or blow-inhale-blow, to prevent exactly this type of tampering. Interlock devices also request random retests during most trips, so you will have to consistently retest your BrAC. 

Myth 4: You Don't Have to Install a Court-Ordered IID - You Can Drive Without It

Some offenders think they can simply continue to drive without installing their ignition interlock devices, or wait out the suspension period. However, the ignition interlock requirement is still mandatory even after the suspension period is over, as it is intended to allow people to drive during this period. Deliberately ignoring the mandate puts you at risk for further legal troubles. For example, if you are pulled over and found to be driving without an IID on a suspended license, most law enforcement officers will not take this lightly. You open yourself to possible jail time, license revocation, hefty fines, and more legally. If you’ve been mandated to install an IID, it’s best to follow the mandate and your state’s interlock policy.

Myth 5: An Ignition Interlock Device Will Damage My Vehicle

This is a common belief, but ignition interlock devices must be installed by a certified technician. If your interlock is mandated by the court, they will provide a list of approved installation providers, and you can select a certified installer from there. It is important to have this professionally done, as the device is wired directly into your vehicle’s ignition. When it is time for the device to be removed, a professional should also handle this. That way, none of its components will remain and it will be removed properly, with no lasting impact on your vehicle. 

Myth 6: Some Foods Will Let You Drink and Still Pass Your BrAC Test

There are always myths about beating breathalyzers, such as holding a penny in your mouth to reduce the presence of alcohol in your breath. While foods like mints or gum can help your breath smell better, or even mask the scent of alcohol, the interlock will not be fooled. Ignition interlock devices specifically test for the chemical composition of your breath, so they will not be fooled by a mint. Some users might try eating a lot of carbs or other schemes to fool the test, but it won’t work. 

Use Your Interlock Properly, Avoid Further Penalties

Using your interlock correctly, and having it installed properly, can help you avoid anxiety and further legal issues. If you are unsure how to proceed, Interlock.com can help you find an interlock provider near you. Fill out the form on this page to get started.