You’ve jumped through plenty of legal hoops after your DUI. You’ve spent a lot of money on legal bills. Now, the court or the DMV says you have to install an ignition interlock device. If you’re less than thrilled with the idea, you’re probably wondering, “Is there any way to get around the interlock breathalyzer?”
Trust us, you’re not the first to ask that question. Even though adhering to the rules of your state’s ignition interlock restricted driving program is pretty easy, people want to try and beat the system. Over the years, interlock users have tried a number of ways to get around an interlock breathalyzer. Let’s take a look at the methods, and if they work.
Getting Someone Else Who Is Sober to Blow into the Device
If you’ve been drinking, the best thing is not to drive. Yet, we continually hear about people who have been drinking, who try to get someone else who is sober to blow into the device and start the car, and then attempt to get behind the wheel.
There are a few reasons why this is a bad idea and doomed to failure.
First, your technician calibrates the ignition interlock device (IID) to you specifically. It will register that the hum or breath flow is not the same as when it was initially calibrated. Many IIDs today are camera-equipped, meaning they snap a picture of you each time you blow into the device. The device will record that someone other than you took the breath test. This information may be transmitted in real-time, or downloaded at a service visit, depending on your state.
Second, even if you did get someone else to blow in the device, and they were able to start the car, you would have to take a rolling retest shortly after starting the car, and you would fail that.
Play it safe and call Uber or Lyft, take public transportation, or get a ride from a friend. The only time having someone else blow into the device is allowed is if the device was calibrated to them when your device was installed. This means they would be sharing the car with you. In this situation, they could legally drive, but you could not.
Trying to Disconnect the Ignition Interlock Device
Your ignition interlock device, or in-car breathalyzer, is physically wired into your vehicle’s starting system. The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) is hard-wired in. The handheld device that you breathe into communicates any breath test results to the ECU. Pass the test, and you can start the car. Fail the test, and the ECU prevents the car from starting.
Over the years people have tried to cut or disconnect the wires. Here is why that is a bad idea.
Your IID is a sensitive piece of electronic equipment. Not only is it highly accurate in detecting alcohol on your breath, but it is equipped with sensors that will send your vehicle into permanent lockout if it detects you or someone else is trying to disconnect it or tamper with it. The only way to get out of permanent lockout is to take your vehicle to the service center.
Additionally, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) Model Specifications for Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices (BAIIDS) requires interlock manufacturers like ALCOLOCK™ to ensure the devices include a tamper-proof seal that would indicate if you disconnected the device from the ignition.
Consequences of Trying to Get Around the Interlock Breathalyzer
Both methods of trying to get around the interlock breathalyzer are major violations of your state’s restricted driving program. All 50 states have ignition interlock laws, and while they vary on the restricted driving program specifics, they all have major consequences for trying to get around using the device.
Those include, but are not limited to:
- Removing you from the restricted driving program and making you fill your full license suspension period with no driving privileges
- Extending the amount of time you have to have the device installed
- Penalties for a probation violation, including jail time, fines, and community service
So play it safe, and don’t try and drink and drive. It’s never a good idea, but it’s an especially bad one if you have already had one DUI and you have an interlock device installed.
Schedule Ignition Interlock Device Installation
ALCOLOCK provides fast and affordable ignition interlock device installation at service locations across the country. Call the service center nearest you to schedule your installation appointment. You can also call ALCOLOCK™ directly at (866) 700-9300 and we will help you get scheduled.
Plan on having someone drive you and your vehicle to your appointment. Installation and training you on how to use the device will take about an hour. Before you leave, you will schedule your first service visit. Then, you are free to drive, according to the rules of your specific restricted driving program. We will work with you to make your ALCOLOCK™ IID the easiest interlock device to use.