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How to Troubleshoot Common Ignition Interlock Device Issues

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    Scottsdale Location Monthly Appointment

    123 Road, Suite 555, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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    Troubleshoot Common Ignition Interlock

    If you have been convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI), the court might impose the installation of ignition interlock devices (IID) in every vehicle you use. An interlock device may also be installed if your license has been suspended because of DWI or if you have two (or more) DWI convictions.

    Here at Interlock Install, we guarantee efficient interlock installation so you can complete your interlock requirements with ease. However, ignition interlock devices are not perfect. While rare, it is possible that you will experience problems with your ignition interlock device.

    Troubleshooting Prevalent Ignition Interlock Device Issues

    To troubleshoot ignition interlock device issues with ease, a thorough understanding of how the device is used and how it works is crucial. Below are some of the most common ignition interlock device issues you will encounter and how you can address them:

    The device won’t turn on

    If the ignition interlock device won’t turn on, the most common culprit is the battery. In most cases, it is either low or has died completely. In line with this, check your vehicle battery first to ensure it’s working. At times, ignition interlock devices can drain the vehicle’s battery. 

    Other times, the battery fails on its own and prevents the IID from starting. Whatever the case may be, your car’s battery is the first thing you should look into. If the device still won’t turn on after you have changed your battery, it is recommended that you check with your local service provider for help.

    You are prompted with an “Invalid Sample” warning

    The “Invalid Sample” prompt appears when your IID detects an irregular breath sample after a test. If you see the “Invalid Sample” error, take a moment to regroup. Often, the problem can be attributed to your failure to conduct the testing properly. 

    Remember the training you were given when the device was installed. Once you are more relaxed, repeat the test and make sure you follow the correct blowing procedure. If you still receive the same message, your device might require servicing.

    You are prompted with “Service Lockout”

    Your device needs to be serviced within specified periods (usually 30 to 60 days), depending on your state’s requirements. If your vehicle is not taken to the service location within the period required, you will get locked out and prompted with the “Service Lockout” error. 

    Typically, the device displays a service countdown several days before you are locked out. A lockout can be frustrating for many, and it must be handled according to the state’s requirements. 

    To make things easier for you, we can perform a service appointment at a location that’s convenient for you. While the mobile service can cost you money, it’s a small price to pay for the peerless ease and convenience you will enjoy. 

    You encounter user error lockouts

    Your IID is designed to lock you out when you fail the breathalyzer test. However, as mentioned earlier, the device is not perfect yet. This means the device can lock you out for reasons other than failing the breathalyzer test. 

    To prevent a user-error related lockout, ensure you observe the following:

    • Wait for 10 to 15 minutes after drinking or eating 

    Your IID might not be able to read your sample accordingly if you use it directly after eating or drinking. Ideally, you should wait at least 10 to 15 minutes after you have eaten to take the test. Otherwise, there is a possibility you will fail the test even if you have not consumed a drop of alcohol.

    • Ensure you provide a proper sample

    There are different methods of sampling depending on your device. Using whatever technique you want won’t do. Ensure you follow the proper procedure taught to you, regardless of whether it’s using quick in-and-out breaths or blowing for a long time.

    The device malfunctions

    Even if used correctly, there are still instances when the device can malfunction. To avoid similar problems, it is crucial that you don’t miss an appointment to have the device calibrated or serviced. 

    If the device still malfunctions even if you have kept all your service appointments, the following might be the culprit:

    • Electrical error

    Electrical problems can be caused by the vehicle or the device itself. If it’s not getting enough power from the car, the device might not be able to receive samples at all. This is a common occurrence with outdated vehicles. This can also happen if you have peripherals like heads-up displays, advanced comfort devices, and speaker systems.

    • Testing tube build-up

    Particles from the car or your breath can build up in the tube designed to receive your samples. This can result in failed tests even if you have not consumed anything alcoholic. In line with this, ensure your service appointments will always include test tube cleaning.

    Final Thoughts

    It is reassuring to know that most IID issues can be easily avoided if you observe the correct testing procedures, follow your program requirements, and read your device manual. If you encounter problems you cannot address properly, get in touch with a professional, so any issues and concerns are resolved accordingly.

    The Most Prevalent Ignition Interlock Device Myths, Debunked

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      123 Road, Suite 555, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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      How Ignition Interlock Devices Work

      A DUI conviction comes with plenty of consequences. This includes installing an ignition interlock device (IID) on the vehicle, which prevents a car from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds a predetermined level. 

      Interlock installation has played a part in keeping our roads safer and significantly reducing the re-arrest rates among drunk drivers. However, the device, itself, is not safe from misconceptions. 

      Here are some of the most prevalent ignition interlock myths, debunked.

      Myth #1 – You can trick the device.

      There are people claiming that it’s possible to fool the IID into letting you drive even when you’re intoxicated. They say that if you’re able to mask the smell of alcohol in your breath (by chewing gum or eating candies – for example), you can deceive the device into thinking you’re sober.

      The fact is that IIDs can detect alcohol concentration in your breath at molecular level. The breathalyzer can still recognize the trace of alcohol from your breath sample, no matter how hard you try to obscure it. 

      Myth #2 – The IID can also detect drugs.

      Ignition Interlock Devices can detect the slightest hint of alcohol in your breath, but they cannot tell whether you’ve consumed drugs or not. Still, you must remember that drugged-driving is illegal in the United States. 

      Never attempt to sit behind the wheel if you’ve taken any drugs that could potentially affect your driving skills. Operating a vehicle while impaired by any substance – legal, prescribed, over-the-counter, or otherwise – can endanger your life and that of others, and will only get you into more trouble with the law.

      Myth #3 – You can get away with asking somebody else to blow into your IID for you.

      Even if you have a sober person blow into your IID to start your car, the device will require a retest after a few minutes, which you’re likely to fail if you have been drinking. Besides, most ignition interlock devices are fitted with a camera that takes a picture every time the device is used.

      Asking someone else to take the breath test for you is considered tampering, which is a serious offense in many states. You could face adverse legal consequences if found guilty.

      Myth #4 – Rolling tests are dangerous because they can shut off your vehicle’s engine.

      It’s true that the IID will require a retest at scheduled intervals while the vehicle is in motion to ensure that the driver did not ask someone else to take the test. However, the device can only keep your car from starting. It does NOT have the capability to shut down the engine in the middle of a ride. Should you fail the rolling test, your IID will only record your violation and, maybe, engage your car’s alarm and lights as you continue driving.

      Also, you don’t have to take the test immediately after the device requests for it. The system gives you a few minutes, so you have plenty of time to pull over and then perform the retest.

      Myth #5 – Mouthwash can cause you to fail a breath test.

      This myth has some truth to it. Certain mouthwashes may cause you to fail a breathalyzer test because they contain alcohol – BUT ONLY if you blow into the interlock right after you’ve used them.

      To make sure that your mouthwash does not affect the result of your IID test, rinse your mouth with water properly and wait for a few minutes before blowing into the device. You can also try using the alcohol-free mouthwash varieties.

      Myth #6 – Ignition interlock device installation will cost you a lot of money.

      You will have to bear the fees associated with having an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, but the costs are not as steep as you think. The installation can set you back around $100 – $150, while the calibration and maintenance can run up to $60 – $80 per month.

      Yes, installing an IID on your vehicle is an added expense, but it costs less than imprisonment or taking public transportation wherever you go.

      The convenience of having continued access to your vehicle after a DUI conviction is priceless!

      Anytime you need IID installation in Phoenix, reach out to our team at Interlock Install for fast and quality services. We’ll try our best to make the process as efficient and hassle-free as can be for you.

      Facts About Ignition Interlock Devices That You Need To Know

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        Schedule an Appointment

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        Scottsdale Location Monthly Appointment

        123 Road, Suite 555, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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        10 minutes

        pop-up-cross

        Scottsdale Location Monthly Appointment

        123 Road, Suite 555, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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        10 minutes

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        Scottsdale Location Monthly Appointment

        123 Road, Suite 555, Scottsdale, AZ 85260

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        10 minutes

        Ignition Interlock Device Installation

        Drunk driving is a serious problem that has been wreaking havoc on people’s lives for some time now.

        In the United States alone, drunk-driving crashes cause nearly 30 deaths every day, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

        Over the years, authorities have been hard at work trying to curb drunk driving.

        The State of Utah, for example, has lowered the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers over the age of 21 from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent.

        Then there’s mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) installation, which is actually gaining some headway in the fight against drunk driving.

        If you find yourself convicted of a DUI and ordered to install an IID in your vehicle, you will need to learn what you can about them. Here are facts about ignition interlock devices to help you do just that.

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        It’s A Breathalyzer Hardwired To Your Car Engine

        An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer, a tool commonly used by police officers to measure the BAC levels of suspected drunk drivers. It requires DUI offenders to provide a breath sample by blowing into the device’s mouthpiece before they can start the car.

        An IID, however, does more than just get a BAC reading. As it’s hooked up to a vehicle’s engine, an ignition interlock device can stop it from starting if the driver yields a BAC at or above a low limit set by the state. The only way the driver can start the car and drive is to pass the IID breath test.

        Rolling Retests Ensure Sobriety While Driving

        An IID is also designed to perform what is referred to as rolling retests, which are random breath tests done to ensure that the driver remains sober while driving.

        Contrary to what some people say on the Internet, a rolling retest does not automatically stop your vehicle while on the road, which is extremely dangerous.

        Your IID will beep when it’s time for a rolling retest. While you can provide your breath sample while driving, it would be much safer to pull over to do the retest.

        As with the initial breath test, providing a passing breath sample means you can continue driving. If the IID detects alcohol in your breath, it will make a record of it, and activate your car lights or horn to compel you to pull over and turn off the engine.

        It Records and Transmits Data

        As mentioned above, your ignition interlock device will record rolling retest results. Other information it may store include:

        • Startup test results
        • Skipped rolling retests
        • Attempts to remove or tamper with your IID
        • Location and car mileage
        • Attempts to continue driving after a failed rolling retest

        The data will then make their way to the courts, the DMV, your parole officer, or any assigned monitoring agency for assessment.

        IID Violations Carry Penalties

        Whatever you do, never violate any of the rules or guidelines that cover the mandatory use of IIDs, as there are consequences for doing so.

        Some judges punish IID violators by extending the IID installation period. That means it will take a while longer before you can drive without one in your car. Others simply revoke DUI offenders’ restricted licenses, essentially denying them the ability to drive at all.

        It is also not unheard of for some IID violators to be subjected to hefty fines or even serve time in jail.

        IIDs Have Been Around For Decades

        The ignition interlock device was developed in the early 70s. It took until the mid-80s for IIDs to become part of the penalties for DUI offenses. Today, all 50 states have statutes covering the use of ignition interlock devices or IIDs for DUI offenders.

        IIDs Are Working Against Drunk Driving

        According to this study, mandatory interlock installation for DUI offenders was associated with a 15% drop in alcohol-related crash death rates.

        A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study also says that IIDs reduced DUI recidivism by at least half.

        There is also a compilation of studies by Mothers Against Drunk Driving that illustrates how effective ignition interlock devices have been over the years.

        Ignition Interlock Installation Help

        Being ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle is not a walk in the park, but we at Interlock Install are more than glad to lend a hand. Contact us for IID installation, and we’ll provide the assistance you need to make the process easier.

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