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Five Things You Should Never Do When You Have an Interlock Device

When you need an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, the first thing you need to do is learn how to use the device. And you also need to understand things you shouldn’t do. We've compiled a list of the top five steps to practice when you have a car breathalyzer to keep things running smoothly.

Ignition interlock devices are complex devices. If you are required to install one, it’s important to respect the technology and the guidelines that come along with it. Certain actions could result in test failures, lockouts, or even a broken device. Follow these tips to stay on the road without incident.


1. Never leave your car running if you're not in it

It’s very common to leave your car running during cold weather to warm it up, or while you’re dropping off a letter or running a quick errand. While this is common behavior that may be ingrained as a habit, it’s important to remember that you cannot do this with an interlock device installed. During most trips, your device will signal you for a random retest. If the device signals and you’re not there to take the test, this will result in a failure that is reported to the state’s monitoring authority. These failures could lead to additional penalties depending on your state, so make sure to stay on top of this by always staying with your vehicle when it’s running. 


2. Don't miss your calibration appointments

Once your ignition interlock device is installed, you will need to visit your service center location periodically to have your IID calibrated. The time in between calibrations varies by state, but can be every 30 to 180 days. Calibration ensures your device is working properly and measuring alcohol content accurately. If you miss a calibration appointment, you risk being locked out of your device. 


3. Don’t forget to drive your car regularly

It might not be as appealing to drive now that your interlock is installed, but it’s vital to drive your car on a regular basis. The car breathalyzer depends on your vehicle’s battery to work, and driving helps charge your battery. Drive your car at least once every few days to ensure the battery and interlock are in good working order. 


4. Don’t use or consume products with ingredients ending in -ol or -yl before testing  

Your ignition interlock device is intended to prevent you from starting your device if you have alcohol in your system that measures above the allowed limit. Certain products like hand sanitizer or cologne can contain alcohol, and can impact the test. Avoid products with ingredients that end in -ol or -yl, as these contain alcohol molecules.


5. Don't attempt to tamper with the device

Rumors abound on the internet about how you can bypass your interlock device or tamper with it to avoid a breath sample. It’s important to realize that there is no way to successfully do this, and tampering with your device is illegal. Attempts to tamper with your device can result in a variety of penalties and a longer interlock term. 

If you’re ever unsure of anything to do with your interlock, your interlock provider should be able to help. If you have not chosen a provider, Interlock.com can help with any questions you might have. Contact us at 877-370-7308 or fill out the form on this page to get more information.