What Happens If You Receive A Fail On Your Interlock Device?

interlock deviceIt’s easy to be overwhelmed when you first receive a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, and besides the potential for jail time and having to pay high fees, it’s losing your driver’s license that can be the most difficult step to adjust to. Not being able to drive your vehicle back and forth to work or drive your family places can make any day difficult, and that’s why the best first step you can take to getting behind the wheel and back on the road again is your ignition interlock device.

Once you have the interlock device installed and you’ve been driving awhile, you might wonder what happens if your interlock detects a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the preset-limit? Limits will vary according to the state, but sometimes even one glass of wine could be enough to register over the threshold.

When you are about to start your vehicle, you’ll be required to blow into your ignition interlock. If you register over the preset-limit, your vehicle will not start and you’ll be required to wait a few minutes. When that time has passed, you’ll be able to test again. If you pass, you can drive your vehicle as normal. If you are over the threshold again, you’ll have a longer time to wait between re-tests.

All states require rolling re-tests. While driving, the interlock will signal for a rolling retest where you have to submit a breath sample while driving. If you are able to start your vehicle normally but the rolling re-test indicates you are over the preset-limit, your vehicle’s alarm will go off and the lights will flash until you pull over and turn off the engine. Although the lights will flash and the alarm will sound, a failed rolling re-test will not automatically turn off a running vehicle.

Once you’re pulled over and have turned off the engine, you’ll be required to submit another breath test to start your vehicle again. If you’re tempted to have someone else perform your rolling re-test, think again – states have strict laws against anyone helping you perform interlock tests. In some states a camera is required in the vehicle, so it will record anyone who may attempt to do a rolling re-test for you and they could face fines and even jail time.

Guardian Interlock will send all information for tests performed, whether they are pass or fail, to the state. Penalties for driving with a blood alcohol concentration above the preset-limit will vary according to where you live, but you may receive an extension of the time you’re required to have the device installed as well as a longer driver’s license suspension.

If you’d like to make sure you never blow above the preset-limit of your interlock device, simply don’t get behind the wheel after drinking. That way both you and everyone on the road with you will stay safe during your drive.




  1. Maxwell C Hunter says:

    On the trip to the facility to get the monthly reset, I passed all tests. Afterwards, I left the facility and passed the first test. Passed the first rolling retest. Second rolling retest I failed. Pulled over after exiting the interstate, and tried the test again. The handset was very difficult to pass the hum test, so I thought that was the issue. That test failed me again. Almost losing my mind, I called the facility. She couldn’t understand it either. After all I had been there just 20 minutes earlier. She told me to wait, but what was the point? After weighing my options, I decided to test again 20 minutes later. Passed. Turns out my readings were:
    .008, .018, .026, .029, and .000. That is impossible. On a previous occasion, I went from .000 to .035 on the first rolling retest. I think it is impossible for my blood alcohol level to reach that even if I did have a drink. When I returned to my car 4 hours later it warned me, and that was .02 I think. That was after being at work for 4 hours. I do not use mouth wash and keep nothing of the sort in my car. No mints, nothing. I also have a jug of water which I use every time and avoid eating anywhere near driving time. My drive to work takes 15 minutes. The concept of me taking a drink before the first retest is absurd. I could simply wait for the first retest. Can anyone acknowledge that it is an equipment failure? I need to know how to deal with this. I dont know who to contact in the DHSMV here in Florida.

  2. Charles Hickman says:

    Please give Guardian Interlock a call at 800-499-0994. If there are technical or equipment problems, the representatives will assist you. Thank you.

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