Tampering with or Circumventing an Ignition Interlock Facts

If you search “beat an interlock device” or “fool interlock” you will find a wealth of YouTube instructional videos.   At LifeSafer, we want to tell you that not only is it virtually impossible, but it can result in serious additional penalties.    While we understand that having to use an ignition interlock (or in car breathalyzer) can be frustrating, the unit is specifically designed with multiple levels of anti tampering and circumvention technology.   But most of all, it’s against the law and can result in serious penalties.

You might have heard about using balloons, air compressors or having a friend blow into it.   None will fool an ignition interlock, and all of them could get you in serious trouble.

Here’s one that we haven’t covered: activated charcoal. Supposedly, you blow through a tube full of the stuff it will “scrub” the alcohol from your breath, allowing you to start your car with an ignition interlock.

Activated charcoal is carbon which has been put through a process which gives it many micro-pores, so it is extremely absorbent. The term came into the common vocabulary through cigarette ads that advertised charcoal filters for removing harmful substances from the smoke.

So, what happens when you try this trick? If you were to blow through a charcoal-filled tube, the carbon might clean up some alcohol. But could it lower breath alcohol enough to give you the very low BAC reading you need to pass an ignition interlock test? Absolutely not. In addition, interlocks require users to hum or suck as well, to prove that a human is taking the test. The charcoal would interfere with that. And in states that require a camera with the interlock, that would obviously result in a violation

Passing an ignition interlock test every time requires that you refrain from drinking before getting behind the wheel.   If you want more facts on how to pass your test, check out our suggestions here.