Will I Violate Probation If I Fail an Ignition Interlock Test?

If you’re on probation after a DUI/DWI, and you’re required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle, you probably have a lot of questions. As a top ignition interlock device provider, ALCOLOCK hears some of the same questions over and over. And one of them is “Will I violate probation if I fail an ignition interlock test?”

The answer is not the same for everyone. You will want to make sure you thoroughly read through the conditions of your probation, and ask your probation officer or DUI lawyer if you are still unsure. But in general, if a condition of your probation is that you abstain from drinking, or don’t attempt to drive after drinking, then yes, you would violate probation if you fail the ignition interlock test. And if you fail it repeatedly, you may have your probation revoked.

Every state has ignition interlock laws on the books. One thing remains a constant – we have to report any program violations to the courts and/or the DMV, depending on who ordered you to install the IID.

Ignition Interlock Program Violations

Failing an ignition interlock test is not the only program violation that can get you in trouble with your probation officer. Again, every state has different requirements and consequences if you violate the rules. Here are the main IID violations:

  • Failure to install the ignition interlock device as required
  • Driving a vehicle not equipped with an IID
  • Getting charged with another DUI
  • Failing one or more startup breath tests
  • Failing a rolling retest
  • Trying to continue to drive after you failed a retest
  • Skipping a retest
  • Attempting to tamper with your IID
  • Attempting to remove the IID
  • Trying to get another person to submit a breath sample for you
  • Failure to make payments on your ignition interlock device
  • And more, as detailed in your court or DMV paperwork

You should know that some of these program violations will also result in an automatic lockout. Again, refer to your specific program requirements, as well as the paperwork you get from your ALCOLOCK service center to make sure you are aware of the program rules and consequences.

If You Think You Failed the Test Accidentally

If the device says you failed the test, but you haven’t been drinking, you will want to alert your probation officer and service center to that fact. It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally, something you ate or drank could have enough alcohol in it to result in a test failure. This is why we suggest you wait 10-15 minutes after eating or drinking before submitting a breath sample. You may also want to swish your mouth out with water first.

Some items that contain alcohol include:

  • Some mouthwash and mouth sprays
  • Some cough syrup
  • Vanilla extract
  • Some energy drinks
  • Some dishes like pasta with vodka sauce or rum cake

If you avoid these items during the time you have the ignition interlock device installed, you shouldn’t have a problem. Our ignition interlock devices are highly accurate, as required by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) model specifications for ignition interlock devices.

Schedule Your Ignition Interlock Device Installation

Schedule your ignition interlock device installation by calling the service location most convenient to you. You can also call ALCOLOCK at (866) 700-9300. When deciding on a service center, remember that where you have your installation done is where you will have your monthly service appointments. So look at the location hours and decide if closer to home or closer to work is a better option.

We can generally get you scheduled within a couple of days of your call. Your installation appointment will last approximately an hour. During that time the technician will physically install the device, and train you how to use it. They will also go over what all of the lights,  sounds, and screen messages mean. Finally, they will schedule your first service visit.

Service Visits

Each service visit should take about 20 minutes. Program rules vary from state to state. Some states require you to come in for a service visit every 30 days, while other states set the interval at 60 days. But don’t worry, those requirements will also be spelled out in your paperwork. And your device will send you a reminder of an upcoming service visit. If you need to reschedule a service visit, call right away. Failure to have a service visit within seven days of the initially scheduled appointment will result in a lockout.

The bottom line, if you follow all of the program rules for your state, you will not violate probation, and you will complete the restricted driving program as quickly as possible.

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