What is a car breathalyzer?
Car breathalyzers are also known as ignition interlock devices (IID). Interlock devices are discreet electronic devices that are wired into a car’s ignition. Once installed, the IID prevents drivers from starting their car unless they pass a Breath Alcohol Content (BrAC) test. The device may also request retests randomly throughout a trip to ensure continuous sobriety.
With many states looking to strengthen their drunk driving laws, the use of car breathalyzers, or ignition interlock devices, has risen. With the proven ability to prevent inebriated people from driving, they are invaluable in the effort to keep roads safe.
How Does a Car Breathalyzer Work?
So, how does a car breathalyzer work? In order to start their vehicle, people with an Intoxalock interlock or car breathalyzer installed must:
- Press the button to activate the device.
- Once the device indicates it is ready, use the blow-inhale-blow breath pattern to submit their breath test
- Await results. Once they have passed, they will be able to start their vehicle.
- If they fail the test, they will be unable to start the vehicle until they pass, and the device may lock them out for a time before allowing a retest.
How do Ignition Interlock Retests Work?
Some may be tempted to try and cheat the interlock device by having a sober friend take the test. However, this can backfire quickly. To ensure continuous sobriety, many states require random retests during a trip. The process for a retest is the same as the starter test, the only difference being that the car has already been started. The device will warn you before a test is due, to allow time to pull over if needed. Most breathalyzers give you a few minutes to accomplish this. You will use the same blow-inhale-blow breath pattern on each test and retest.
Taking a BrAC Test
Each ignition interlock provider has different requirements for use.
A blow-inhale-blow device, such as an Intoxalock device, requires the tester to blow into the device for three seconds, then inhale for another three seconds and blow into the device again for a final three seconds.
Other blow patterns require longer test sessions or require that you hum while blowing.
Calibrating your ignition interlock device
Depending on the state you received your offense in, you will be required to get your car breathalyzer calibrated every 30-90 days. A calibration requires going to one of your provider's service centers and having the technicians check to make sure that your interlock device is working correctly.
Which ignition interlock provider is the best?
Intoxalock is the #1 ignition interlock brand in the United States. If you’re looking for a device that is easy to use and readily available, Intoxalock is the ideal provider.
Intoxalock has more than 4,500 locations across the country than any other provider and 24/7 customer service. The reliable technology will help get you back on the road safely and quickly.
You can get a free Intoxalock quote by filling out the short online form on this page or calling today at (888) 283-5899.