Ignition Interlock FAQs

Everything To Know

Get answers to questions about interlock pricing, ignition interlock devices, and more.

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lifesafer iid FAQ

Lifesafer is the leading service provider in the IID industry and our Frequently Asked Questions page is designed to provide you with answers to the most common questions. The LifeSafer IID is the smallest on the market, making our in car breathalyzer discreet and easy to use. Lifesafer gets you back on the road safely. 


How much does an Ignition Interlock Device cost? 

The cost of a LifeSafer Ignition Interlock Device varies by state and by provider. Generally, device installation and monthly rental fees range from $50 to $150. Some providers may also have a maintenance and calibration fee.
Lifesafer is known for having the best customer service in the industry and also for offering competitive rates for their ignition interlock device (IID) services.

What do I need to do for my Lifesafer IID maintenance and calibration and are there any additional charges? 

At Lifesafer, we want to make sure your ignition interlock device (IID) is working properly. That’s why we offer maintenance and calibration services to keep your device in top shape.

The maintenance fee covers regular inspections and any necessary repairs to ensure your device is functioning properly. The calibration fee is charged for the testing and adjustment of your device to ensure it’s providing accurate BAC readings.

It’s important to keep in mind that these costs may vary depending on your location and provider. However, LifeSafer is transparent about our pricing.

To avoid any additional penalties or extensions of your IID use period, it’s essential to schedule and attend your maintenance and calibration appointments on time.

Locations and Appointments

What should I bring to my appointment?

Here is a check list to make it easier for you.

Bring these things to make sure your IID installation appointment goes smoothly:
A valid government-issued ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
The vehicle(s) that the IID will be installed in, along with proof of ownership (title, registration, etc.)
Any court or agency-required documentation, such as an order for the installation of an IID.
Payment for the installation fee and any required monthly fees for the device.
The make and model of your vehicle(s) and the vehicle identification number (VIN).
It’s also a good idea to confirm with Lifesafer’s certified shop technicians to see what exactly is required before the appointment.

What is a monitoring appointment and how often do I need to go to one?

A monitoring appointment is a scheduled appointment with the service provider who installed the ignition interlock device (IID) in your car. During the appointment, a certified Lifesafer technician will download and review the data from your IID, check the device’s calibration, and ensure that the device is working properly. Monitoring appointments are typically required on a regular basis, typically monthly, to ensure that the device is functioning properly and that you are in compliance with the court or agency’s requirements. The frequency of monitoring appointments can vary depending on the specific laws and regulations of your state or jurisdiction, as well as the court or agency that ordered the IID to be installed, so it is best to consult with the court or agency that ordered the installation of the IID to determine the specific schedule for monitoring appointments. You may also have to pay a monthly rental fee and/or a maintenance and calibration fee.
Our top rated customer service team is ready to help. Contact us here.

What happens if I forget or can’t get to my monitoring appointment?

If you forget or are unable to attend a scheduled monitoring appointment for your ignition interlock device (IID), it’s important to reschedule your appointment as soon as possible. You can easily do this in our convenient online portal.
If you fail to attend a scheduled monitoring appointment without prior notice, it may be considered a violation of the terms of your IID agreement and may result in consequences such as fines, additional monitoring appointments, or even revocation of your driving privilege.

It is important to communicate with your service provider and make sure you understand the consequences of missing an appointment and the process of rescheduling. Also, If you are having a hard time making it to the appointments, it’s important to let the court or agency that ordered the installation of the IID know and explain the situation, they may have options to help you.

IID Device Questions

What is an Ignition Interlock Device? 

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is an in-vehicle breathalyzer device that is connected to the ignition system of a car, truck or motorcycle. You will be required to blow in the device prior to starting your car. If the breath sample contains alcohol, the IID prevents the vehicle from starting. 
Lifesafer IID is known for being one of the smallest on the market, making it discreet and easy to use.

How does an Ignition Interlock Device work? 

The device works by measuring the breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of the driver. If the BAC is above the pre-set level, the device will prevent the vehicle from starting. After having a failed breath test, the driver must wait a pre-determined amount of time, usually 15 minutes, before attempting to start the vehicle again.

How do I use the IID device?

You will need to blow into the device’s mouthpiece as instructed by the device’s manual or your service provider. Be sure to blow firmly and steadily into the mouthpiece for at least 5 seconds to ensure an accurate reading.

What happens if I fail a breath test?

If you fail a breath test, the interlock will enter a temporary lockout period for the first failed BAC test. This lockout time is set by state regulation. If you fail the re-tests, your car may lock out for a longer period or need a reset and tow, depending on state law. The retest feature gives a chance for the alcohol to dissipate from the mouth if you accidentally ingested something that trigged a BAC. It’s a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water prior to taking the test and avoid any products that may contain alcohol. These can result in a positive alcohol reading, which is very frustrating. Depending on your state’s laws and your service provider’s policies, multiple failed breath tests may result in your service provider being notified and additional penalties, such as fines or additional restrictions on your driving privileges.

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 and foods. Environmental substances such as windshield washer fluid and gasoline fumes also contain alcohol and can inadvertently trigger the device. If you receive a fail and haven’t been drinking, take a moment to rinse your mouth, check the surroundings and make sure the air inside your vehicle is circulating, then try again when prompted by the device. Note that if you have consumed alcohol, even if it was the prior evening and you are trying a morning start, your BAC may be high enough that you fail the test. Best practice is to not drink any alcoholic beverages while you are on your program.

What if I use medicine or mouthwash with an alcohol base?

If you do not allow sufficient time for the alcohol to dissipate from your mouth, FAIL will be registered in the memory. You will have the opportunity to re-test, and rinsing your mouth with water can help. It can be hard to change routines to accommodate an interlock, but it will get easier over time. Other common products that contain alcohol include hand sanitizer, air freshener, windshield wiper fluid, cleaning products, and wipes. Many foods contain trace amounts of alcohol as well — vanilla extract is an example you may not have considered. It’s also a good idea to avoid tobacco, coffee and vaping when you use an interlock.
Is it OK to use alcohol-based hand sanitizer around my ignition interlock?
You should take any and all precautions as recommended by the CDC and WHO regarding hand hygiene and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If alcohol-based hand sanitizer is used, you should take the following steps when taking an interlock test to help avoid registering an alcohol reading.
– Apply the sanitizer outside of the car.
– Allow the sanitizer to air dry completely before you enter the car to take a test.
– As an added precaution, you should roll down a window to encourage outside air circulation.
– As always, we recommend that prior to taking a test, you rinse your mouth with water to remove contaminants.

Can an interlock be installed on a motorcycle?

Yes, in some states. In fact, we are the only interlock provider who can install on a motorcycle. Call us at 800-634-3077 to find out if your state is ones where we can provide this service

Will the interlock turn off the engine if I fail a random re-test?

No, the interlock will never turn off a running vehicle. If a retest is missed or failed the horn will sound, a violation will be recorded and the device will require early service.

What if my vehicle stalls?

Our devices are equipped with stall protection. The interlock will allow a restart without a test for two minutes. NOTE: If you have a vehicle that includes an economy feature that shuts off the engine while you are at a red light, in traffic, etc it will need to be disabled so that you do not have to constantly re-test.

Can other drivers use the vehicle if the interlock is installed?

In most states, yes. LifeSafer service providers will train other users of the vehicle at no additional charge. However, please note that anyone driving the vehicle will need to use the interlock and you will be responsible for any violations. Check with us to see if other drivers are allowed to use the interlock.

Can someone else start the car for me (for example, valet service?)

No. Having anyone else take the test and then have you start driving is considered circumventing the device. Most states have laws that include fines and jail for individuals assisting in the circumvention of an interlock. Additionally, interlocks randomly ask for additional tests while the engine is running. If the retest is not taken or failed, the unit will log a Retest Violation and the alarm horn will honk until the vehicle is turned off. Many states use camera interlocks that take a picture during each test as a measure against this type of circumvention.

What if my vehicle needs service while I have the interlock installed?

It is VERY important that you call us before any work is completed on your vehicle. States require detailed information about the shop doing the work. This documentation assures the unit will not record a tampering event if the power to the vehicle is interrupted as the unit will record the power disconnect and the reconnect. We can also provide your service provider with an override code so that they can test drive the car and turn it on and off during the repair process without having to use the interlock.

How much can I drink before I blow a violation?

It is best to not drink at all if you are participating in an ignition interlock program.  Even drinking the night before you try to start your car may result in a BrAC that causes a violation.   The tolerance for an ignition interlock (IID) to produce a violation varies by state, but is very minimal and most people who need an interlock installed also agree with the court to abstain from alcohol.   We strongly advise not consuming any alcoholic beverages, checking your personal care products (such as mouthwash and toothpaste) to make sure they don’t contain ethanol or other chemical variants of alcohol.   Your success is important to us, and remaining alcohol free is a very important part of that.

How long will a customer have to have an IID in their vehicle?

The length of time a customer will have to have an IID (ignition interlock device) in their vehicle depends on the specific laws and regulations of their state or jurisdiction, as well as the court or agency that ordered the IID to be installed. In general, the length of time can vary from a few months to several years. It is best to consult with the court or agency that ordered the installation of the IID to determine the specific length of time required.

Does restriction time begin once the IID is installed?

The restriction time generally begins once the IID is installed in the vehicle, but it’s important to check with the court or agency that ordered the installation of the IID to confirm the specific start date. Some jurisdictions may have specific requirements that must be met before the restriction period begins, such as completing a certain number of hours of alcohol education or treatment.

What should a customer do if they receive a violation letter?

If a customer receives an ignition interlock device (IID) violation letter, they should take the following steps:
Review the letter carefully to understand the specific violation that occurred, such as a failed breath test or missed service appointment.
Contact the IID provider to discuss the violation and any possible issues with the device.
Follow any instructions provided in the violation letter, such as scheduling a service appointment or providing additional documentation.
Comply with any penalties or additional requirements imposed by the state, such as additional IID use period or fines.
Consider seeking legal advice if the customer feels that the violation is unjustified or that their rights were violated.
It’s important to address the violation promptly to avoid any additional penalties or suspension of driving privileges.

How is the accuracy of an IID measured?

Lifesafer takes the accuracy of their ignition interlock device (IID) seriously. One way the company ensures the accuracy of its device is through a process called calibration. During calibration, the device is checked to ensure that it is providing accurate blood alcohol concentration (BAC) readings. This can be done by using a known alcohol solution or by having a person blow into the device with a known BAC. The device’s readings are then compared to the known BAC to determine the accuracy of the device. Additionally, Lifesafer conducts regular laboratory testing to ensure its devices meet the required standards and specifications set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other regulatory bodies. The devices are also subject to regular inspections and maintenance to ensure they are working properly. It’s also important to note that the accuracy of the IID also depends on proper usage and maintenance of the device by the customer, such as regular calibration checks and following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

How do I know if my device is working properly?

Your device will have a series of self-diagnostic tests that can be performed to ensure it is functioning correctly. If you suspect your device is not working properly, contact your service provider for assistance.

What measures does Lifesafer take to protect the privacy of customers using their ignition interlock device (IID)?

The Lifesafer IID device will record your test results and other data, and this information may be shared with the court or other authorities as required by law. 

I Am Deaf or Hard of Hearing, and I Need an Ignition Interlock – What Do I Do?

Our devices can accommodate customers with hearing impairment by installing a warning light to alert customers when the device is prompting for a test.

I need a user manual.

You can download one here for the L250.
You can download one here for the FC100

Have questions? Call us now!

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