What Are The Ignition Interlock Violation Penalties

When you have an ignition interlock device installed, you will receive some instructions on how to operate it. You should also get some guidance on what constitutes an ignition interlock violation and how to avoid committing one. In general, if you use your device correctly, you can avoid violations and their consequences. What is an ignition interlock violation? Will failing an ignition interlock be a violation? And what are the ignition interlock violation penalties?

ignition interlock violation penalties screen on interlock device

Ignition Interlock Violation

“A violation is an event recorded in the Interlock device when it is not used correctly, a test is ignored, the device is disconnected, or an attempt is made to circumvent a test or tamper with the device. Violations are recorded and reported to your monitoring agency.” — Dräger Interlock 7000 Manual

At RoadGuard Interlock, we want to help your time spent driving with an ignition interlock device go as smoothly as possible. It’s up to you to avoid interlock device violations and penalties; if you have any questions about interlock violations, a failed interlock test, or need to schedule an installation, contact us today.

Violation: Using Device Incorrectly

Your ignition interlock device is designed to be reliable and easy to use, to get you on the road as smoothly as possible. However, it’s up to you to make sure you understand how to use it, so you can avoid ignition interlock violation penalties by misusing it.

Violation: Ignoring Random Retests

Your ignition interlock device will occasionally require retests while you’re on the road to prevent any driving under the influence of alcohol. When you see a retest alert, you’ll have time to pull over safely before completing the test. If you pass, you can continue driving. But will failing an ignition interlock be a violation? The answer depends on what happens next. A failed interlock test might require you to try again or might trigger a temporary lockout.

If, however, you continue driving and ignore the test, it will be considered a violation, and you’ll face the consequences.

Violation: Disconnecting Ignition Interlock Device

In general, never try to disconnect your interlock device. It will be recorded, and you could face penalties. However, in some cases, you will be allowed to disconnect your device, usually to prevent it from sitting in your car during extreme weather conditions. Be entirely sure you’ve been permitted before disconnecting your device.

Violation: Tampering With Device

Some drivers might be tempted to tamper with their ignition interlock device, hoping to get around it and use their vehicle after drinking. Not only will this generally not work (tampering can lead to a temporary lockout), any instance of tampering will be recorded and is a violation. Your interlock device may have a tamper-evident label, and removing the label is also considered a violation. Penalties vary, but you’ll likely face fines or even jail time if you tamper with your interlock device.

Penalties for Ignition Interlock Violations

The penalty for an ignition interlock violation varies from state to state and depends on the severity of the violation. Some violations can trigger a temporary lockout, while serious incursions like tampering with your device could result in your probation period being extended. The potential penalties are not worth trying to get around the restrictions of driving with an ignition interlock device.

After a certain number of violations, your device may enter “Violation Reset” mode. You’ll need to have it serviced within a specific time frame to avoid a lockout.

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