5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using an Ignition Interlock Device

Learning how to use an ignition interlock device properly is essential. You deserve to know the details to maintain your driving privileges. Misunderstandings in its use can lead to significant issues, including legal penalties.

Understanding common errors is key to preventing complications. But driving confidently means understanding and complying with all related regulations.

Continue reading to learn the top five mistakes to avoid. This essential information can help you take charge of your future on the road.

Mistake #1: Failing to Perform Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is mandatory, not optional. Frequent inspections and calibrations are essential to ensure it functions properly. Staying proactive prevents false readings that could lead to legal issues. Neglecting these maintenance routines might cause the device to report incorrect data.

Battery issues are a significant concern since an IID draws power directly from the vehicle’s battery. If your car’s battery is weak or failing, it could cause unexpected shutdowns or failures to start. Such problems can cause inconveniences or make authorities suspect non-compliance. Regularly check your vehicle’s battery to prevent these disruptions.

Sensor accuracy is also critical in the operation of an IID. Over time, they may degrade after the buildup of contaminants or general wear and tear. If not regularly calibrated and cleaned, this deterioration causes false positives or failures to register samples correctly.

Mistake #2: Attempting to Tamper with the Device

Tampering is illegal and carries severe penalties. There can be fines or even criminal charges for the following:

  • Altering the device
  • Using another person to provide a breath sample
  • Mechanically bypassing the IID

Attempting to circumvent an IID directly undermines its goal of improving public safety. Courts take any interference seriously because it poses a threat to other road users.

Several methods qualify as tampering. For example, physical modifications, using non-human air sources, or disconnecting the device. In some areas, tampering is the same as a DUI offense.

Mistake #3: Using Products That Can Interfere with the Device

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are sensitive to any amount of alcohol. Unfortunately, everyday products can trigger false positives. It is crucial for users to be aware of these products and manage their use carefully. Here is a list of items that could affect the readings:

  • Mouthwash: Many brands contain alcohol to kill bacteria.
  • Hand sanitizers: These products can create a false positive if you don’t wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Medicated syrups: Cough syrups and other liquid medications typically include alcohol as a solvent and preservative.
  • Breath sprays: Many are alcohol-based and can directly influence the sample.
  • Foods prepared with alcohol: Foods that incorporate alcoholic ingredients, such as desserts and sauces, might retain enough alcohol to impact IID results.
  • Cosmetics and beauty products: Some cosmetic items, like toners and aftershaves, contain alcohol and can affect an IID if you inhale the fumes.

Mistake #4: Not Taking Failed Tests Seriously

Failed IID tests carry significant consequences. Any detection above the set limit goes to the appropriate authorities. These reports can trigger penalties such as fines or mandatory counseling.

Repeated failures on tests may extend the period the device must remain installed. This extension acts as a punitive and corrective measure. Frequent or high alcohol readings result in longer periods, underscoring the importance of adhering to usage guidelines.

You should know the appropriate actions after failing an IID test to minimize problems. Users should promptly report any failures to their designated authority, as per their IID program. Knowing the retesting procedures and documenting any possible causes for false positives is essential.

Mistake #5: Poor Training or Lack of Understanding

Proper training avoids significant challenges, including legal issues and additional costs. Without a thorough understanding of IID operations, users are prone to errors that may lead to false positives or device failures. These events could become misinterpreted as attempts to drive under the influence.

Users should frequently review the training materials provided during installation. They include instructions on using, maintaining, and troubleshooting the device. Staying informed about the functionality and requirements helps avoid the most common mistakes.

You can ask for additional training or guidance from your device provider. They can offer tailored support and advice based on your specific needs and the model of your IID. Engaging in refresher courses, online tutorials, or direct consultations can help as well.

Ask a Local DUI Attorney

Using an ignition interlock device correctly is crucial for ensuring safety on the road and compliance. However, there are times when you face legal uncertainties.

Do not hesitate to seek professional advice from a local DUI lawyer when you need it. Our representatives stand by 24/7 to connect you to one. Simply call (866) 345-6784 or submit this easy form for a prompt response.

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