Choosing the Right Ignition Interlock Device For You

After certain DUI offenses (or DWI, OWI, or OVI), you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in order to retain the freedom to drive. You’ll likely have many questions about how to choose the right device to meet your needs. 

Although it’s something you may be required to do in order to continue driving, it’s a journey you’re probably not all that excited about going on. Finding answers to some of your questions will help give you the knowledge and perhaps also some peace of mind. 

So let’s see if we can’t answer some of your questions: 

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device (IID) is a handheld car breathalyzer that measures the amount of alcohol in the user’s breath. Installing this device is a common requirement following a drunk driving offense. In the simplest terms, an interlock is a breathalyzer that’s installed in a vehicle to prevent the user from starting it until a breath alcohol test is successfully taken. 

LifeSafer is a pioneer in ignition interlock technology and continues to be an industry leader 30 years later. Our IID is the smallest, most discreet device on the market. It also comes with several industry certifications, which just means it’s reliable and accurate-something you will absolutely want in your interlock device. You don’t want technology that consistently malfunctions or registers false positives. 

How do I go about getting one installed in my car? 

To have your interlock device installed, you’ll need to contact an authorized company, like LifeSafer. To find a location near you, simply call our Customer Support Center or look on the website. We have over 1,500 locations nationwide. 

Will it damage my car in any way? 

At LafeSafer, an Authorized Service Technician, who has been thoroughly trained, will install your device. Your vehicle will not be damaged in any way. When you complete your program, the technician will remove the device and return your vehicle to its original state.

My ignition interlock program is for one year. How do I get help along the way if I need it? 

It’s very important to choose a company that is going to provide you with the knowledge you need to complete your interlock program successfully. You want a company that will be there for you anytime you need them to answer questions or help you if you are having difficulty using your device. 

Even more, you want to be able to talk to people who are kind and respectful of what you are going through. At LifeSafer, our Customer Support Center is open 24/7 every day of the year. Our consultants are trained to respectfully guide you through your program from beginning to end. 

Once the interlock is installed how often will I need to go in for calibration appointments?

States require periodic inspection and calibration by an Authorized Service Provider. At each appointment, the Authorized Service Provider will also download information from the device and transmit it to the appropriate monitoring agency.

When your device is first installed and at each calibration appointment, the next service date will be input into the device. Depending on your device type, several days prior to a service appointment, the service light on the unit starts flashing, or messaging will appear as a reminder of an upcoming appointment. It’s very important that you make every calibration appointment for your device to remain in compliance with your particular program. 

Depending on your jurisdiction, these appointments could be 30 to 60 days apart. Right now with COVID-19 being an issue, some states have granted 90-day extensions for calibration appointments. It’s best to call the Customer Support Center or to check with your monitoring agency and see what the current terms are for your state. 

What should I do if I can’t make a calibration appointment? 

First of all, if you know you are going to miss an appointment, be proactive, and call the Customer Support Center to let them know before you actually miss the appointment. They will help you work through your particular situation so that you remain compliant with your program. Please be aware if notice is not given more than 48 hours ahead of time, you may be charged a missed appointment fee. 

If for some reason you do miss an appointment, here’s what happens.

  • For several days following the scheduled date, the service light on the device will remain steady (or messaging will appear) and a tone will sound.
  • If you fail to return to the service center within this time frame, the interlock device will lockout and you will not be able to start or operate the vehicle. You do not want this to happen as you will have to be towed to the service center to get the device unlocked and recalibrated. This is both time-consuming and expensive. 

Aren’t all ignition interlock devices the same? 

That’s an excellent question. There are two critical aspects to consider when selecting your provider. First, not all devices have the same technology built into them. They may perform similar functions, like keeping the car from starting if alcohol is detected, but the technology built into them is company-specific. LifeSafer pioneered this technology and is the expert when it comes to IIDs. Our products were designed to be easy to use, with the simplest blow pattern on the market. 

Second, is the quality of service and expertise you can depend on as you make your way through your program. This starts with the very first call you make to our Customer Service Center, to get the device installed and maintained. Eventually, you will successfully complete your interlock program and the unit will be removed. It’s important to connect with a company who will have your success as their top priority. That’s our goal at LifeSafer. 

Give us a call today to talk to one of our Customer Support Consultants. They will answer all your questions, get your installation appointment set up, and help you restore your freedom to drive. Click Frequently Asked Questions to see other questions and answers you may have about the LifeSafer Ignition Interlock device.