What Happens if My Interlock Locked Me Out?

Getting used to driving with an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle can be anxiety-inducing. Your DUI probably through your whole life into an uproar. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. In this article, we will discuss what happens if your interlock locked you out. It’s important to note that there are two different kinds of lockouts with your ALCOLOCK interlock device.

Temporary Lockout / Startup Lockout

You know the drill by now. Every time you want to start your ignition interlock equipped vehicle, you have to blow into the device to give it a breath sample for analysis. If the device detects a blood alcohol content (BAC) below .02 or .025 (depending on your state), you can start the engine just like you normally would. However, if the device detects a BAC above at or above the level set by your state, the IID will prevent you from starting your car. In other words, a startup lockout.

Don’t panic. If you haven’t had anything to drink in 24 hours (how long it takes alcohol to completely leave your bloodstream), try swishing your mouth out with water, and try again when the device says you can (usually 5 minutes after an initial startup lockout). If the second breath sample is clean, you’re good to go.

If you fail the startup test a second time, the device will again go into lockout mode. This lockout period will generally last 15-30 minutes. Depending on your state, if you fail a startup test a third time in a row, the device could let you keep trying after an increasingly longer lockout period, or it could go into permanent lockout.

Rolling Retests and Lockouts

Once you have started driving, your IID will alert you to submit randomly timed breath samples, to ensure you have not started drinking and driving. If you pass the test, you just keep moving along. If you skip or fail a rolling retest, the engine will keep running, but the horn will start honking and the lights will start flashing. You will need to pull over and turn off the ignition if this happens. At that point, the IID will lock you out, and give you a chance to perform a startup breath test after a specified amount of time has elapsed.

Early Recall or Immediate Recall

Failing or skipping a rolling retest will also result in an Early Recall message. This means you need to take your vehicle to the service center ASAP. The device will display a recall code and the Permanent Lockout date. For an Early Recall, you have 7 days to bring your vehicle to the service center for the device to be reset and the information about your failed test to be sent to your monitoring agency.

You may also receive an Immediate Recall message, where you will also get a recall code and the Permanent Lockout date. For an Immediate Recall, you have 3 days to bring your vehicle in for service.

With either Recall message, you should call your service center as soon as possible to make an appointment before the Permanent Lockout date displayed on your device. Failure to do so will put the device into Permanent Lockout mode. The timeframes listed above may vary from state to state. Be sure to look at your compliance guide and pay attention to what your device says.

Permanent Lockout

Uh oh. If you allow your device to enter Permanent Lockout mode, you may need to have your vehicle towed to your service center  If your device enters Permanent Lockout mode, it cannot be started until you take your service provider resets the device. You may need to have your vehicle towed.

Your ALCOLOCK device enters Permanent Lockout mode if you have failed to address device notifications or miss a scheduled service visit or ignore an Early Recall or Immediate Recall notice.

Your Financial Obligations

As you know, you are responsible for your IID installation costs and monthly service visit costs. You are also responsible for any additional costs associated with an Early Recall, Immediate Recall, or Permanent Lockout situation where the device requires additional service or resetting beyond the monthly service visit.

Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation

You can easily schedule your ignition interlock device installation appointment with ALCOLOCK. Just call the service location most convenient to your home or work to schedule your IID installation, or call ALCOLOCK at (866) 700-9300. Keep in mind that where you have your installation done is where you will have your monthly service appointments.

You can expect your installation appointment to take about an hour. During that time the technician will perform the physical installation of the device, and train you how to use it. They will also go over what all of the sounds and messages mean. Lastly, they will schedule your first service visit. Each service visit should take about 20 minutes.

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