Find answers to frequently asked questions about ignition interlocks devices. Intoxalock is the industry leading ignition interlock provider and has representatives available 24/7 to answer your questions. Call us today. Relax, we got this.
An ignition interlock device, also known as an interlock system, is a breathalyzer installed in your vehicle to prevent somebody from starting their car while intoxicated.
You’ll want to choose a provider that is certified in your state, has convenient locations, has no history of suspensions and decertifications and has an easy-to-use device. Read more about why Intoxalock is the industry leading ignition interlock provider.
You may be required to install an ignition interlock device if you’ve been convicted of a drunk driving offense, depending on your state regulations. Call us today to talk through the laws in your state.
You can choose to install an ignition interlock device even if you haven’t been required to do so. Intoxalock offers special voluntary pricing to help protect you and your loved ones.
You will be required to blow into a mouthpiece prior to starting your car so the device can measure your Breath Alcohol Content (BrAC). Intoxalock devices have the simplest blow patterns and highest levels of accuracy.
Ignition interlock devices are extremely effective in preventing repeat drunk driving offenses. Strict ignition interlock laws have saved countless numbers of lives across the country.
Are ignition interlock devices held to any quality standards?
Ignition interlocks must meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) requirements and pass vigorous testing from any state they want to be an approved provider in. Intoxalock passes even the toughest state’s regulations and has customers in all 50 states. In addition, we have a technical assistance staff available 24/7 to help with any device issues and assure that our customer experience is positive with no problems or unresolved complaints.
Intoxalock offers an industry leading Device Protection Plan. For less than $0.50 a day, your device will be protected against accidental damages, natural disasters, theft and more.
Installing an ignition interlock device
Your installation appointment should take less than an hour, depending on your vehicle. Intoxalock installers are highly trained to quickly and carefully install your equipment.
You’ll want to find an interlock provider with locations near you. Intoxalock has more state certified installation locations nationwide than any other provider. Call us today to find the installer closest to your work or home.
If your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked, you’ll need to have somebody with a valid license drive you to your installation appointment. Intoxalock representatives can help you understand the laws in your state and are available 24/7 to answer your questions.
When installed correctly, an ignition interlock will never damage your vehicle. It’s important to choose an interlock provider that thoroughly trains their installers. Intoxalock holds their installers to high quality standards to always protect your vehicle.
The paperwork you receive at your installation appointment will vary based on your state. You’ll receive a Certificate of Installation and a Pocket Guide and may receive a copy of your lease agreement. Login to MyAccount to view your lease agreement, user’s manual and more.
Intoxalock does not install ignition interlock devices on motorcycles and most states will require you to drive an interlock-equipped car following a drunk driving conviction.
Using an ignition interlock device
There are two methods of submitting a breath sample, depending on your state's requirement. The most common is a simple blow, inhale, blow method that is like powerful breathing. The other is a straight blow method that requires a more forceful breath.
NOTE - You’ll want to stay away from companies that make you hum into your device when submitting your breath sample.
You will not be able to start your vehicle without first providing a passing breath test. Your state laws determine what BrAC limit you must remain under and will determine how many attempts you have at a passing test. Call us today to find out more detailed information about your state regulations.
BrAC is your breath alcohol concentration. This must be under a limit set by your state (usually 0.20) before you’re allowed to start your vehicle. Each state determines how many attempts you have at providing a passing sample. Intoxalock state specialists are available 24/7 to educate you on your state ignition interlock laws.
If you fail a breath test, your vehicle will not start. In some states, your interlock may enter into a temporary lock out, preventing you from submitting another sample for a few minutes. Once the temporary lock out is over, you will be able to submit another sample. Once you pass the test, you will be able to start your vehicle. In many states, too many failed attempts to start your vehicle will cause your device to go into a service lockout. Intoxalock devices are the easiest to operate. Call us today to learn more.
You are responsible for every sample blown into your Intoxalock. However, we do recommend that you keep a log of when anyone else drives or attempts to submit a breath sample in your vehicle. In addition, Intoxalock offers ignition interlock devices with cameras for extra visibility. Call today to see if your state approves the use of camera devices.
Ignition interlock devices can only prevent your vehicle from starting and won’t ever turn your vehicle off. Once you have successfully passed a test and started your vehicle, interlocks cannot affect the operation of your vehicle. It can, however, activate your horn and/or lights should a test be missed or failed as determined by your state's regulations.
Any licensed driver may drive your vehicle as long as they activate and operate the ignition interlock device as required. We strongly suggest that you keep record of who drives your vehicle and when, as you will be responsible for all of the information on the data log, regardless of who was driving.
Rolling retests, or random retests, are required by the state. These tests prompt you to submit breath samples periodically while your vehicle is running to ensure the absence of alcohol. Intoxalock allows drivers 6 minutes to submit a random retest so you are able to pull off to the side of the road if you aren’t comfortable providing a sample while driving.
You should stay inside your car at all times once it has been started. Retests are random and are required by the state. If you miss a retest, you could face consequences as determined by the state ordering your interlock. Call us today to learn more about your state laws and random retests.
Problems operating an ignition interlock device
Each state dictates how many times you can submit a failing breath sample. In most cases, you will be temporarily locked out of your device for a set period of time after submitting a number of failing samples and in many cases, your device will permanently lock out if you continue attempting to start your vehicle with failing samples. Call us today and we will walk you through your state’s regulations.
Because Intoxalock is a national company and has the largest installation center network of any provider, we can help you in any state. We would caution you to check with your monitoring authority to make sure you are allowed to drive out of state. You should also verify with the state you will be going to, to make sure they will recognize your restricted license.
A lock out is a state mandated function that will not allow you to start your vehicle. Depending on state requirements, lock outs can be caused by blowing a BrAC that is above the state specific limit, blowing too many high BrACs, failing to submit a breath sample or trying to tamper with or circumvent your ignition interlock device.
If your vehicle stalls, turn your key off. Within 2-4 seconds, your Intoxalock will recognize that your vehicle is off and start a 1-3 minute countdown. You may try to restart your vehicle without submitting a breath sample as soon as the countdown appears.
First, check the health of your battery by holding down the button on your device for 5 seconds (learn about Intoxalock’s exclusive sleep mode feature). You can also test your car radio or lights to see if your battery is charged. If your battery health is good, contact our top-rated customer service team to further troubleshoot.
Ignition interlock devices are designed to detect bypassing and circumvention attempts by measuring unnatural or unusual air patterns. Attempting to bypass your ignition interlock device will lead to stiff penalties as determined by your state.
All ignition interlock devices are designed to detect any source of alcohol which could include household products and contaminants. It’s important to wait 10-15 minutes after eating/drinking anything before submitting a breath sample. Read more about submitting clean breath samples.
Positive BrAC readings from contaminants will dissipate much quicker than a reading from true alcohol you’ve consumed. If you blow a failing breath sample and you believe it’s due to a contaminant, it’s important to continue providing samples until a clean one is registered to show the dissipation because all interlock providers hold you responsible to any BrAC reading, no matter the source.
Ignition interlock device calibrations and maintenance
A calibration is a routine maintenance appointment for your ignition interlock device to download device data and ensure it’s measuring alcohol levels accurately.
Calibrations are required every 30-90 days, as determined by your state. In most states, Intoxalock devices are certified to go the longest period of time between calibrations. Call us today to learn more about your state’s ignition interlock process.
Intoxalock device calibrations are done right at your service center and take just a few minutes. The service center technician unplugs your device and puts it on a calibration dock to run a series of quick tests. Find an ignition interlock location near you.
Your calibration should take 15 minutes or less. Call your service center to find a convenient time to stop in. Intoxalock has more locations than any other interlock provider – find one today!
It’s important to calibrate your device on time to prevent lockouts or violations on your account. Calibrations are required by the state, not the interlock provider, so failure to comply may result in penalties. Call us today to talk about the process in your state.
If you need to have work done on your vehicle when you have an ignition interlock device installed, make sure the mechanic knows about the device. It's important to keep all receipts from the date of service to prove there was work being done to the vehicle. In addition, report that maintenance is being performed on your vehicle by logging into MyAccount.
Your ignition interlock device works in all temperatures and climates. By putting your device into sleep mode (Intoxalock exclusive feature), you can prevent your car battery from draining in colder temperatures. It's also important to provide a few slow breaths directly into the handheld (without the mouthpiece) prior to pressing the black button to attempt an activation sample. For more information on how to handle your ignition interlock in cold weather, visit our Cold weather care blog post.
If you get a new vehicle, contact Customer Service to schedule a vehicle switch appointment with your service center. You’ll want to have the new vehicle’s VIN number, year/make/model, registered owner, color and plate information.
Ignition interlock device pricing and billing
The cost of ignition interlock devices vary by state, the type of vehicle you own and the features you are required to have. Generally, ignition interlocks cost between $60 and $90 a month. Learn more about Intoxalock’s affordable pricing, discounts and promotions, or Call us today to get the best value available in your state. Intoxalock representatives regularly evaluate the market to ensure we’re providing the best value.
Yes, you may mail a payment to Consumer Safety Technology, LLC, PO Box 8773, Carol Stream, IL 60197-8773. Please make sure to include the name on the account and your customer ID#.
Since you’re only required to have an ignition interlock installed for a set period of time, ignition interlocks are leased instead of purchased outright.
You are able to make automatic payments, as long as a debit or credit card is being used in association with the account. If no debit or credit card is available, we unfortunately cannot schedule automatic withdrawals by transfer of funds. We can, however, accept one-time payments using a checking or savings account.
Monitoring and Reporting
After your installation is complete, you will be given a Certificate of Installation. In many states, you are required to provide this document to your monitoring authority for review. In other states, we will electronically notify your state of the installation. Call us to learn more about your state’s requirements.
Depending on your states regulations, you:
- May not be allowed to regain your unrestricted driving privileges until you have completed your ignition interlock requirements
- Have your ignition interlock restriction extended
- Be held in contempt
- Face additional fines and/or jail time
Read more about penalties for driving with a suspended license.
Each state, and many times, each monitoring authority, has their own requirements for what is reported to them. Every report contains the time and BrAC level of every breath sample as well as the time of each requested sample, even if it wasn't taken and any tampering that might have occurred. Other things that may be reported are missed calibrations, non–usage or photo verification. Call us today to learn more about your state’s requirements.
Any tampering or attempted circumvention is recorded. This could affect your driving privileges, require a longer time with an ignition interlock installed or in many states, be considered a felony.
Reporting of the installation varies and is based upon your state. In many cases, the Intoxalock Compliance Department will notify your monitoring authority within 24 – 48 hours of your installation. In others, you will be required to provide a copy of the "Certificate of Installation" to your monitoring authority (i.e.: Probation Officer, Court, DMV, DOT, etc.).
Removing an ignition interlock device
Any Intoxalock certified service center (over 2,500 locations nationwide) can remove your device. You will schedule your removal appointment through Intoxalock's Customer Service department.
Check with your monitoring authority, court, probation officer or Department of Transportation to verify that you are eligible to remove your ignition interlock device.
This will vary based upon your state. Many times, that paperwork may need to be provided to your monitoring authority. In other states, the paperwork is for your records and does not need to be shared. Please feel free to contact Intoxalock via chat, email or phone, and we will be happy to answer questions related to your specific requirement.
You will receive a Certificate of De-Installation confirming you have had the device removed by an authorized service center.
After the device has been removed, you will need to call and speak to the Recovery Department to close your account. If you received equipment shipped directly to your home, please make sure that you return the equipment immediately following removal, and then contact Intoxalock to fully close your account.
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