5 Tips to Avoiding a Lockout

Whether you are a new ignition interlock device (IID) user or have had your IID for a while now, understanding the function of lockouts will help you avoid them. First, it’s important to know there are two different types of lockouts – temporary lockouts and service lockouts. Both types of lockouts prevent you from starting your car and their specific requirements are dictated by the jurisdiction where you were arrested. 

Temporary Lockout

A temporary lockout is the direct result of a failed breath test. How long it lasts is directly set by the jurisdiction and programmed into your device at installation. The device will show a “Fail” result indicating that your breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) was above the predetermined level and you won’t be able to start your vehicle. 

Generally speaking, the first failed test will result in a 2-15 minute lockout. After that, you will be asked to retest. If the retest is successful, you will be able to start your car and be on your way.

However, if subsequent retests are failed, you will not be able to start your car. Of course, this is dependent on the rules in your particular state-check them to be certain. Depending on the jurisdiction, multiple failed breath tests could result in a permanent lockout that may require a code in order to restore functionality.  Again, check your state rules.

Tip #1

Avoid drinking ANY alcohol prior to using your vehicle. Whether that’s one drink or multiple, it’s never a good idea to drink and then attempt to drive. Safety first – phone a friend or schedule a rideshare.

What other forms of alcohol can trigger a failed test?

Your car breathalyzer is a very accurate piece of equipment. It can measure all forms of alcohol (ethanol) that enter your system. There are several foods and liquids that can trigger a “fail” reading. This short video will show you what and how to avoid “fail” readings due to other substances:

Tip #2

To help avoid a failed test due to other substances, always rinse your mouth with water before taking a test. This will help remove mouth alcohol from recent foods or liquids. 

Some changes to your routine may be required — for example, toothpaste, mouthwash, and hand sanitizer all contain trace amounts of alcohol that can trigger an alcohol reading. So can some medications. Environmental substances such as windshield washer fluid and gasoline fumes also contain alcohol and can trigger the device if you breathe it in and then blow into the device. Always apply hand sanitizer outside the car.

If you receive a fail and haven’t been drinking alcohol, take a moment to rinse your mouth with water, check the surroundings and make sure the air inside your vehicle is circulating, then try again when prompted by the device.

Service Lockout

Your device needs to be calibrated every 30 to 180 days – depending on what the jurisdiction requires. This service ensures the device continues to work properly and produces the most accurate readings to your monitoring agency. 

If you don’t return for this service by the required date, your device will enter into a grace period between 3 and 10 days. Your device screen will show how many days until the device will enter a Permanent Lockout if not serviced. 

Permanent Lockout means you won’t be able to take a test or start your car. If your jurisdiction allows it, you will need to call LifeSafer at 800-634-3077 to obtain a Lockout Override code or have your vehicle towed to an Authorized Service Center at your own expense.

Tip #3

Be vigilant and keep all your scheduled appointments to remain compliant with your interlock program. If for some reason you need to reschedule an appointment, simply log into our LifeSafer Client Portal and reschedule the appointment yourself. Make sure you do this at least 24 hours ahead of the time of your appointment to avoid additional fees.

You can also call a helpful Customer Care Expert to assist you at 800-634-3077 or to ask for their help in setting up your Client Portal account. 

Maintenance on your Vehicle

Ready for your next oil change or do you need new brake pads? Any type of maintenance done on your car will require you to notify LifeSafer before the scheduled service appointment so we can capture detailed information about the shop doing the work. We will provide your mechanic with the necessary information and requirements of the jurisdiction to successfully service your vehicle and avoid any issues.

Tip #4

Always call LifeSafer to notify us of any scheduled maintenance you are having done to your vehicle.

Interlock Device Tampering or Circumvention

There is plenty of misinformation about tampering or circumventing an interlock device on the internet. Don’t be fooled. The technology behind LifeSafer IIDs makes tampering and circumvention virtually impossible. If you try, the result is that you will be locked out of your device, a violation will be recorded, and you may incur additional charges to restore your interlock device.  

Tampering includes but is not limited to:

  • Breaking of any anti-tampering seal on any part of the device including wires and connectors
  • Opening the device
  • Physically damaging the device in any way 

Circumvention includes but is not limited to: 

  • Getting someone else to blow the breath test 
  • Providing a breath sample using something other than human breath. 
  • Disconnecting the vehicle’s battery without authorization from the Service Provider 
  • Attempting to move or obscure the camera.

Tip #5

Do not be tempted to tamper or circumvent your device. It could jeopardize the progress you may already have made in your program. The device technology will know if it isn’t human breath. If a camera is required, it will show if someone else takes the test for you. 

If you do find yourself in a lockout situation, call our Customer Care Experts at 800-634-3077. They are available 24/7 to assist you. 

About LifeSafer

LifeSafer is an industry leader in alcohol testing and monitoring. With over 30 years of experience in helping people like you successfully complete their alcohol programs, we offer a level of client value that no other provider can match. From superior customer care to our highly-efficient analysis and reporting, you will receive an exceptional level of support. Our Authorized Service Providers focus on quality care to ensure we maintain the high standard of support our customers deserve.

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