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Ignition Interlock Device Violations: What Do They Mean?

Article updated 9/10/2020

At Intoxalock, we are committed to helping you learn how to use your ignition interlock device (IID) so that you can regain your driving privileges and get back on the road. Our devices are easy to use — with the push of a button, you can provide a breath sample and start your vehicle. However, violations can happen, and we want our customers to understand what can cause them.

What Happens if a Driver’s BrAC is Over the Limit?

Every IID user must provide a breath alcohol content sample, or BrAC, before they can start their car. The sample must be under their state’s BrAC limit, which varies depending on the state but is usually around .02.

Any sample over the limit results in a failed sample and a violation. The car won’t start, and the driver will have to wait until their BrAC limit is under the legal threshold. All failed samples are reported, but next steps vary by state.

What Happens if a Driver Fails More than One Breath Sample in a Row?

All states allow drivers to submit a second breath test if they fail the first one. However, if they provide a second failed sample, they may experience a lockout. This means they will be unable to start the car after a certain amount of time passes. In order to reset the device, they will need to contact Intoxalock in the event that they are locked out.

What Happens if a Driver Fails a Random Retest?

To ensure driver’s sobriety, random requests are made throughout every trip. They occur at random intervals and allow time for drivers to pull over for safety if needed. Drivers can get locked out if they miss a random retest while driving. It’s important to note that the ignition interlock device will NOT stop the vehicle if a driver fails a retest and the interlock device provides you enough time to pull over to the side of the road to retest.

What Happens if the IID is Tampered With?

If someone tampers with or damages your IID, report it immediately. Drivers who attempt to avoid giving breath samples or otherwise circumvent the device will receive a violation. Additionally, tampering could lead to more severe penalties including fines and having time added to their requirements for the IID.

What are Violation Penalties?

Penalties for violations like failed samples or attempted tampering vary by state. If a driver provides a failing breath sample, many states will allow them to continue blowing samples until their BrAC is within the legal limits of that state.

In certain states, the ignition interlock device may go into a temporary or service lockout. In that case, a service call is necessary to gain access to the device and start their car. Each state has its own limits when it comes to the number of failed breath samples they allow. Your state specialist can tell you what the guidelines are for your specific state and offense.

How and Where are IID Violations Reported?

Every violation drivers have is recorded and reported to their monitoring authority. Each state has its own reporting process, and it can vary depending upon which device drivers are required to have installed in their vehicle.

There are several reporting methods used by states, including:

  • Real-time reporting —Some interlock devices are capable of reporting violations in real time. When violations happen, Intoxalock compliance experts review and report them to the monitoring authority as necessary.
  • During device calibrations — IID users are required to calibrate their device every 30-120 days. When this occurs, the data is downloaded from the device and reviewed. The compliance team reviews the data and reports violations to your monitoring authority as necessary. The frequency and level of monitoring depends on each state’s regulations.

If you provide a failed breath sample, experience a lock out or have questions about how to use your device, Intoxalock customer support is available 24/7 to help you. Call (833) 623-0200 for help with your device or your account.



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