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Top 5 causes of an Intoxalock lockout

Learning how to use your Intoxalock is easy and quickly becomes part of your driving routine after installation. However, if used improperly, you can get locked out from the device.

A lockout is a state-mandated function that will not allow you to start your vehicle. You can experience two types of lockouts.

1. Temporary lockout

In a temporary lockout, your device will set a countdown in minutes. Once the timer has expired, you will be able to start your vehicle by providing a clean breath sample.

2. Service lockout

In a service lockout, the timer will start counting down in days. In this instance, you will need to login to MyAccount to reset your lockout or call Intoxalock to order a new device. Once the countdown on the device expires, you will not be able to start your vehicle until you have a new device installed.

Download the infographic: Top 5 causes of an ignition interlock device lockout

Lockout Causes

Several situations can cause a lockout, and different states have different laws regarding what triggers a lockout, how long it will last and if you need the device serviced. The following situations can cause a lockout:

1. Failed breath sample.

The most common occurrence of a lockout is breathing into the device when your breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) is above the legal limit. When this happens, your ignition interlock device will prevent the car from starting. Depending upon your state’s laws, several things could happen. You might be unable to start your car until the sample provided is within the legal limit. If you have too many failed attempts, your device could go into a temporary or service lockout. Each state has its own limit on how many failed attempts you can have before a lockout. If you need help operating your device, visit our how to use your device page.

2. Missed calibration.

Car breathalyzers needs to be calibrated every 30 to 180 days, depending on individual state requirements. These calibrations ensure the device works properly and can get an accurate BrAC reading. To calibrate your Intoxalock, make an appointment to visit your nearest service center on or before the date your calibration is due. The calibration takes only a few minutes. However, if you miss a calibration, you can have a service lockout where you may need to tow your vehicle to the service center to get it running again.

3. Tampering with the device.

You might have heard one of several myths that tells you how to tamper with or bypass your breathalyzer to start your vehicle. These are simply myths and if you do attempt to tamper with the device, you will be locked out and unable to start your vehicle. Ignition interlock technology has evolved over the years to become extremely effective at catching any attempts to trick, or tamper the device. Having somebody else provide your breath sample is considered to be tampering so it’s important to always have the driver be the one blowing into the device.

4. Missing a retest.

Sometimes, people think that if they can’t provide a clean breath sample, they can have a friend provide one instead. However, while driving, you are subject to random retests, where you must blow into the device at random intervals while driving. These retests ensure you don’t consume alcohol while you’re driving and prevent someone else from providing the sample to start the vehicle. If you fail a random retest, your vehicle will not shut off but may go into a lockout immediately once you turn your car off.

5. Incorrectly performing vehicle maintenance.

You might need car maintenance on your vehicle when your ignition interlock device is installed. If you don’t notify Intoxalock of the schedule maintenance, or if the mechanic isn’t aware that you have a breathalyzer installed, you might get locked out from your device.

In case you do enter a lockout during vehicle maintenance, properly reporting the maintenance beforehand is critical to helping Intoxalock resolve the lockout. Report your scheduled vehicle maintenance by logging into MyAccount and going to “Report Vehicle Maintenance.” You will also need to notify your mechanic before they begin work. If the mechanic needs technical support, they can call (877) 777-5020.

For more information on what to do during a lockout, watch our lockout user video.

If you do experience a lockout and need assistance, please login to MyAccount to see if your state allows you to reset the lockout remotely. If the “reset lockout” option isn’t available, our customer support team is available 24/7 to help.

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