Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring to my installation appointment?

To make your installation as smooth as possible, bring the following with you:

All your ignition interlock paperwork, including court documents and any notices or forms from your state licensing agency.

Photo driver’s license: The name on the driver’s license must match the name of the person installing the interlock device.

Vehicle registration card: If you are not the registered owner of the vehicle that will have the interlock device installed, make sure you have a notarized letter from the registered owner that allows for the installation.

To learn more about what happens when the interlock is installed, click here.

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

Depending on state requirements, the interlock is usually serviced every 60 or 90 days, more frequently if there are any violations. If the device is not serviced as scheduled it will go into lockout and the vehicle will not start. During service appointments, your LifeSafer service provider downloads recorded information from the device and our reporting team reviews and transmits it to your jurisdiction’s monitoring authority. The technician will also calibrate and inspect the unit to make sure it’s working properly.

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

Several days prior to a service appointment, the service light on the unit starts flashing as a reminder of an upcoming appointment. Also, for several days following the scheduled date, the service light will remain steady and a tone will sound as an overdue indication. If you fail to return to the service center within this time frame the interlock device will enter a permanent lockout condition to prevent further operation of the vehicle. Then, the vehicle would have to be towed to the service center. Avoid this expense by making sure you schedule your next monitoring appointment while you are at the current one.

What happens if I get a "FAIL" reading?

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 false-positive reading, which is very frustrating. Some changes to your routine may be required — for example, toothpaste, mouthwash, and hand sanitizer all contain trace amounts of alcohol that can trigger a false positive. 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.

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 rolling 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 advisable 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.