Will An Ignition Interlock Installation Mess Up My Car?

Getting an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on your vehicle is one of the first steps toward getting your full driving privileges back after a drunk driving conviction. But your car or truck is your baby. You’re probably asking yourself “Will an ignition interlock installation mess up my car?”

The short and to the point answer is No.

All 50 states and Washington DC have ignition interlock laws, and all of those states require that you have your ignition interlock device installed by a state-certified technician. And only state-approved ignition interlock devices may be installed in your vehicle. So, this is not a DIY situation where you order a cheap IID off of Amazon and install it yourself to save a few bucks.

By now you know that an ignition interlock device is designed to keep you from driving if you have been drinking. You must submit a breath sample each time you want to start the car. If the device detects alcohol over the limit set by your state, you fail the test and cannot start the car. Pass with a clean breath test, and you can start the car like you normally would.

Ignition Interlock Requirements Protect You

ALCOLOCK only installs high-quality ignition interlock devices that meet or exceed the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) Model Specifications for Ignition Interlock Devices, In addition, our technicians are trained in exactly how to install the device without damaging your vehicle in any way.

Among the specifications regarding installation is that the IIDs must:

  • Not interfere with normal functions of the vehicle — such as your anti-theft system, a stereo system, GPS, Bluetooth, electrical system, etc.
  • Be able to bypass remote starters or push-button starts
  • Have a power save mode so they won’t drain the battery while the vehicle is parked

If you are going to park your vehicle for an extended amount of time (such as a vacation), you should let your service center know. They may have some suggestions for you. If you will be gone for more than 30 days where you are not using your vehicle, you should also notify the DMV so you are not penalized for missing a service visit.

The Ignition Interlock Installation Process

The whole process should take about an hour. Someone else will need to drive you and your vehicle to the installation appointment. You will be able to drive the vehicle after the IID installation.

When you bring your vehicle in for your ignition interlock device installation, the technician will connect the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) to your vehicle’s starter system. This control box will remain in your vehicle for the duration of your restricted driving period. This is a quick and easy installation, and our technicians are careful not to scratch, dent, or otherwise damage any part of your vehicle. Installing an IID is actually simpler than installing a new car stereo.

The ECU is then connected to the handheld device with a mouthpiece. This is the portion of the device that you blow into each time you give a breath sample, whether on startup for in a rolling retest. The second part of your installation appointment will be spent calibrating the device specifically to you and training you in how to use it.. Your IID technician will explain all of the sounds and messages the device gives you, and what each means.

The technician will also give you a user’s manual, and go over the program rules and program violations with you, so you know exactly what to expect, and what you need to do to comply with the program. Full compliance will allow you to regain full driving privileges in the shortest amount of time.

Lastly, at your installation appointment, the technician will schedule your first maintenance visit. These maintenance visits are required in every state and are generally every 30 days. Depending on your state and the type of IID you have installed, your maintenance visits may be spaced further apart.

Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Installation

If you need to get an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, ALCOLOCK can help. We have installation locations across the country, and we provide fast and affordable ignition interlock device installation. You can call the service center nearest you to schedule an installation appointment, or you can call ALCOLOCK at (866) 700-9300.

At ALCOLOCK, our goal is to get you back on the road quickly. Follow all the rules, and you will be able to regain unrestricted driving privileges without any bumps in the road.

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