starting the car. Sometimes this is referred to as locking you out of your vehicle. But it is only a temporary lockout, and you have the opportunity to wait a few minutes and try again by giving a new breath sample. Perhaps you just drank a Red Bull or used mouthwash, and you just need to rinse your mouth out and try again. If you fail the test again, the wait period gets longer before you can try again.
In reality, a true lockout on an ignition interlock device is more serious than a temporary lockout. Each state has different requirements for their ignition interlock device programs, but they all follow the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) model specifications for ignition interlock devices. An individual state can set parameters as to how many failed breath tests you can have before the device permanently locks you out. In a permanent lockout, you do not have the opportunity to try again. Each state has its own program specifications regarding what events trigger a lockout, how long it will last, and if you need to get the IID serviced.
Permanent Lockout Causes on an Ignition Interlock Device
There are several things that can cause a permanent lockout on an ignition interlock device, including, but not limited to:
- Failing a number of breath tests as specified by your state
- Skipping a number of rolling retests as specified by your state
- Failing to take your vehicle in for monthly service and calibration of the device
- Attempting to tamper with or remove the device
- Vehicle maintenance where the mechanic isn’t aware you have an IID installed
What to Do When Your Ignition Interlock Device is in Permanent Lockout Mode
You may be able to reset the device, depending on why the permanent lockout occurred, and what your state’s program regulations are. If you’re lucky, the state allows the technician to give you a lockout code to reset the device yourself to avoid towing. But, you may have to have your vehicle towed to your ignition interlock service location, where the technician will transmit all of the information the device has recorded to your monitoring agency. This is true even if you just had your monthly service visit yesterday.
What the technician does next depends on your state’s rules, and how many times you have had a program violation. The technician can reset the IID, or if your most recent violations that caused the lockout disqualify you from continuing to participate in the restricted driving program, the technician, once they have authorization from the state, will remove the device from your vehicle.
If you are removed from the ignition interlock program, most states make you serve the full license suspension period you originally faced.
How to Prevent a Lockout on Your Ignition Interlock Device
The easiest way to prevent a lockout on your ignition interlock device is to follow your state’s program rules. In other words:
- Don’t attempt to blow into the device if you’ve been drinking.
- Have a designated driver or call Uber.
- Don’t skip a rolling retest.
- Don’t tamper with or try and remove the device.
- Make sure you get to your monthly service visits. If you can’t make it the day of the appointment, make sure you visit the service center within five days of the original appointment.
- Notify your mechanic you have an IID installed, and notify us if you are going to have work done on your car.
Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation
ALCOLOCK has hundreds of ignition interlock device installation locations across the country, so if we operate in your state, you’re sure to find one that is convenient to you. Our IIDs are state-approved, and we offer fast and affordable installation and service appointments.
You should plan on having someone drive you and your vehicle to your installation appointment. Once the technician installs the device, you are free to get back behind the wheel. Installation appointments generally take about an hour. That time includes actual installation of the device, where the technician connects it to your vehicle’s starter, teaching you how to use it, and making your first monthly maintenance appointment.
At each service appointment, the technician sends the information the device has recorded to your monitoring agency. The technician will also recalibrate the device as needed, and answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.