Who determines how often you have to have a calibration done on your ignition interlock device depends on what state you live in, and your individual circumstances. A general rule of thumb is you have to have a calibration done on your IID every 30 days. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) ignition interlock device model specifications requires devices have a minimum of a 37-day calibration stability, to ensure your device is working properly between service visits.
But some states allow a longer period between calibrations, and of course, this requires a device with a longer calibration stability period. The longer period is allowed because these states, like New York, for example, have set up their program where monitoring agencies have 24/7 internet access to your device data. As long as the device is providing accurate readings, they’re happy.
So who determines how often you have to have a calibration done on your ignition interlock device also depends on whether IID installation was ordered by the court, or is part of an administrative license suspension. Your monitoring agency determines the frequency of service visits and calibrations. Typical monitoring agencies include:
- The court system
- The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
- The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)
- The Department of Transportation (DOT)
- The Secretary of State
And each state not only requires regularly scheduled calibration, but may require you to take your vehicle in for an unscheduled calibration or service visit at their discretion. This is sometimes referred to as an early recall. You may face an early recall if you violated the program rules, including:
- You failed a specified number of startup breath tests.
- You failed a rolling retest.
- You attempted to tamper with the ignition interlock device.
- You violated any other restrictions placed on you.
It’s important you follow the calibration schedule guidelines, and take your vehicle in for service visits as required. If you can’t make it to a scheduled appointment, call your service location to let them know, and reschedule the appointment within five days of the original appointment. Failure to do so is a program violation in every state, and can result in a device lockout.
A device lockout like this means you cannot start your car at all, until you contact your ignition interlock device vendor. If you’re lucky, your state will allow the vendor to give you a lockout code, which you can enter to unlock the device. Otherwise, you will have to have your vehicle towed in to your service location, where the technician will unlock the device. Your state’s ignition interlock program rules should include information on this.
What Device Calibration Means
Device calibration of your ignition interlock device means the technicians runs some diagnostics on the device to ensure that it is working accurately and precisely. This means the IID technician calibrates your device on a remote calibration machine. Everything these days is computerized. And your ignition interlock device is no exception. This saves you time in the long run. Older devices had to be sent in to the factory for calibration, and the technician would swap out the old device with a new one.
Most times, the remote calibration will tweak your ignition interlock device so it makes the precise measurements it is capable of. In the unlikely event of a hardware or firmware problem that cannot be fixed with remote calibration, the technician will indeed swap out the old device for a new one. This ensures you always have a working ignition interlock device in your vehicle while you are part of your state’s restricted driver program.
Once calibration of your device is complete, and the IID technician has downloaded data from the device, you’re free to go drive sober until your next visit.
Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation
ALCOLOCK has ignition interlock device installation locations in states across the country, so if we operate in your state, you’re sure to find one that is convenient to you. We offer fast and affordable installation and service appointments. Our goal is to get you back on the road quickly.
You will need to have someone drive you and your vehicle to your installation appointment. Once the technician installs your ignition interlock device, you are free to get back behind the wheel. Your installation appointment should take about an hour. Your regular calibration and service visits should take 15 minutes or less.