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How to Hide and Disguise an Ignition Interlock Device in Car

How to Hide and Disguise an Ignition Interlock Device in Car

Organizing the Device

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer in car that needs to be blown into in order to start or continue to operate your vehicle. Since 2006, approximately 2.3 million people have been stopped from drunk driving thanks to ignition interlock devices. 

Learning the ins and outs of operating your ignition interlock device is the first thing you need to do upon your device installation. Starting your car, providing a breath sample, and performing retests are at the top of the list for successful use.

Along with knowing its mode of operation, you need to figure out the placement of the device. You want to place it where it will be discrete yet at the same time easy to access. Here are Intoxalock’s inexpensive tips for safely storing or disguising your ignition interlock device without interfering with its performance.

Mount the Breathalyzer in Car

The device will frequently require you to provide a random retest (meaning you will blow into the device) while you’re driving. You will always need to have your ignition interlock device ready. Therefore one of the ideal locations for your ignition interlock device is placing it on your vehicle’s dash by using velcro strips.

  • Choose a spot to mount your device that is within hand’s reach and that doesn’t interfere with your ability to access your temperature or other controls of your car. Mounting the breathalyzer portion of your device will ensure that you will always know where the device is and that is safe and secure. This will also help prevent the mouthpiece portion of your interlock device from accumulating dirt, dust and other debris that often accumulates in vehicle consoles or floorboards.
  • An alternative option is to use the velcro and elastic armbands that joggers often use. These armbands come in many sizes. The medium or large sizes (depending on the brand) will allow for your interlock device to slip inside while still allowing you to access the mouthpiece and without hindering the cable. You can then mount the armband to your dash to provide a secure spot for storing your device. You can use the 3M-style strips that can be easily removed once you’ve successfully completed your ignition interlock device requirement.

Cable Management for Interlock Devices

The device is attached to a long cable that runs to the underside of the dashboard. You should never attempt to alter an interlock cord in any way. However, the cable is very long so there are some great tips you can use to prevent it from getting disconnected or damaged when passengers get in and out of the car.

  • Cardboard tubes from empty paper towels or wrapping paper rolls can work wonders to keep your cable tangle-free. Take a cardboard tube and make a slit down the tube lengthwise to create a sleeve that can then slide over your cable. Gently push any excess cable into the sleeve and then tape the opening in the sleeve closed.
  • If you are looking to hide the sleeve or make it look more presentable, you could wrap it in gift wrap or use a marker to shade the cardboard sleeve a color that is similar to the interior color of your vehicle.
  • You can also use a binder clip to gather, route and fasten the cable to keep it from getting tangled or caught. For simple storage, use a 3M-style hook on the underside of your dash that you can hang the binder clip from. When you uninstall your ignition interlock device, the hook can be easily removed without damaging the vehicle.

Download our visual guide: IID Storage and Organization

Disguise an Ignition Interlock Device

Important Note

You need to ensure that the device is not covered when you are starting your vehicle or when you are driving so that the mouthpiece can operate in a fully functional manner and that you do not impair the device’s operation. While clients should feel free to disguise or organize the device in ways that best suit their vehicle and needs, the device itself should never be tampered with.

Additionally, many states require that ignition interlock devices are equipped with cameras which must capture a clear photo of you using the device in order to be in compliance with state law. Take care to ensure that you are in legal compliance.

Hide an Interlock Device in the Car

If you would like to camouflage the device so that it goes unnoticed while your vehicle is parked at work or another public space, there are some creative ideas for this.

  • Small Box: You could use a shoebox or other small cardboard box. You will need to trim the box so that the device and cable can be inserted through the bottom of the box. You can then store the box in the center console area of your vehicle. When you are driving, you can leave the box open for easy access to the device. Once you have parked and shut your car off, you can close the box to keep the device out of public view.
  • Disguise the Box: Additionally, the box could be wrapped with paper that matches the interior of your car for additional disguising or gift wrap to make it look like a common item.

Use an Ignition Interlock Discreetly While Driving

If you are concerned about being seen using the device by co-workers or other acquaintances, there are some unique approaches to masking the device while still operating it properly and lawfully.

  • Oversized Cup: The first option is an oversized fountain drink cup. You will need to choose a size that is large enough to contain your ignition interlock device without distressing it. You will make an opening in the bottom of the cup that allows for the device and cable to slide up into the inside. Once you have the device inside along with enough cable slack, you can add tape to the bottom to keep the device securely in the cup. When you use the device, it will appear to others around you that you are simply drinking from the gas station cup. You can then use the lid to conceal the device when your vehicle is parked.
    • Again, if you are in a state where your interlock compliance includes a live camera feed, be sure that the full mouthpiece and top of the device are in plain view of the camera when you are starting your car and during your random retests.
  • Alternatives to the fountain drink cups could be larger sized paper or styrofoam cups from chain restaurants or local coffee shops.

Download our visual guide: Disguise Your Ignition Interlock Device

Clean the Breathalyzer Mouthpiece

You’ll always want to have at least two mouthpieces in your car for your interlock device — one that’s on the device and one to keep on-hand as a backup.

  • To clean your mouthpiece, simply remove it from the device and wash with soap and warm water. Soap and water are the only cleaning agents approved for cleaning the mouthpieces. Rinse thoroughly and tap against a hard surface to get rid of the excess water.
  • Let the mouthpiece dry overnight inside before putting it back on the interlock device.
  • Keep your extra mouthpiece stored somewhere safe and dry inside of your vehicle. Good locations might be your glovebox or in the center console.

We're Here to Help

Intoxalock is here to help you every step of the way. To get setup, or for questions on how to use your Intoxalock ignition interlock device, you can call one of our experts at (833) 623-0200.

If you are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID), you can download and complete the IID Program Application Form below to begin the ignition interlock installation process.

Complete IID Application Form

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