Interlock Device Lockout

If your vehicle has an ignition interlock device, you’ll need to test for alcohol on your breath before driving and possibly at random points during your commute. So, what happens if you fail an interlock device test? What should you do in case of an ignition interlock device lockout? And what are the ignition interlock lockout penalties?

What Is an Interlock Device Lockout?

Ignition interlock devices are intended to prevent you from driving if you are under the influence of alcohol. If you fail a breath test, your device will enter into a temporary lockout mode. Please note, there are a few other factors that could also cause an ignition interlock device lockout.

What Caused My Interlock Device To Lockout?

Lockout Cause: Failed Test

If your ignition interlock device detects alcohol on your breath, you’ll see a “Test Failed” message, and your vehicle will not start. You may enter a temporary lockout period after a certain number of failed tests, and the length of the lockout can vary based on the level of alcohol detected. You’ll see a display of the time remaining in the lockout period on your device display. When that time has elapsed, you can re-test.

If you make a mistake while taking the breath test, or the device detects interference on your breath or in the air, you’ll see an error message and will need to retake the test.  The display of the device will tell you what you need to correct.  However, you shouldn’t experience a temporary lockout. Interlock devices are very sensitive, so it’s a good idea to avoid any products that contain alcohol which might interfere with your test results.

Lockout Cause: Failed Random Re-test

Your ignition interlock device will sometimes require periodic tests while you’re on the road. When this happens, you’ll have time to pull over to re-test safely. If you fail a random re-test, your device will go into temporary lockout mode, and you’ll have to wait until you can retake the test. RoadGuard recommends you avoid eating and drinking anything (other than water) while driving so nothing interferes with a random re-test.  But don’t worry, a failed retest will never stop your engine while you are driving.

Lockout Cause: Other Causes

Whenever you see a notice that your ignition interlock device needs service, you must take it to a service center within the allotted time. If you don’t, you’ll experience a service lockout, and you’ll need to call your local service provider for assistance. Tampering with or disconnecting your device could also trigger a service alert, leading to a lockout.


What to Do During a Lockout?

If you experience a temporary lockout as a result of a failed test, either before starting your vehicle or during a random re-test, wait for the displayed amount of time and take the test again. If you haven’t consumed anything with alcohol and are still failing the breath test, contact your service center or the ignition interlock device monitor.

If you’re experiencing a service lockout, your car will not start until your device is serviced. Call your local service center and let them know what’s happening. Make sure you note the alerts you see on your device and any other information that will help your service technician assist you.

Ignition Interlock Lockout Penalties

Each state has different laws concerning ignition interlock lockout penalties for failed tests. This includes how many failed tests you’re allowed before triggering a temporary lockout, and how you should report failed tests. When your ignition interlock device is installed, make sure you know what your state’s specific requirements are in case of a failed test.

At RoadGuard, we provide you with ignition interlock devices that are reliable and easy to use. Contact us today for more information about our ignition interlock devices and any questions you have about ignition interlock device lockouts.

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