Just like everything in life, having an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle can be a learning experience. Unless you’ve had one before you won’t know where it’s installed, how it works, and how hard you need to blow to get your car to turn over.
Another thing you learn when you have your ignition interlock installed? What you need to do to maintain it. Depending on where you live in the USA you’ll be required to head into a service center either once a month or once every few months, and during that visit a few things will happen.
You’ll have your ignition interlock inspected
The service technicians are trained to perform a visual inspection of your interlock and will check to see if the wiring has been damaged or if anyone has interfered with the device.
Your interlock will be calibrated
Much in the same way a police grade breathalyzer has to be calibrated so it’s always taking accurate blood alcohol concentrations (BAC), a car breathalyzer has to be calibrated on a regular basis so it registers your daily BAC properly. This involves testing and adjusting the device until a service tech deems it accurate.
Your interlock data from the past month will be downloaded
If you blow into your ignition interlock and it registers alcohol in your system, your car won’t start. If you believe it to be a false fail you can try again, but if you’ve been drinking and are trying to drive, the car isn’t going anywhere.
While this is going on your device is logging this data, keeping track of passes, fails, starts, and any attempt that could have been made to bypass the device. When you come in for your appointment this info is downloaded and passed onto the court, law enforcement, or DMV. What happens with that data depends on your state.
It might sound complicated and time consuming, but having your ignition interlock serviced shouldn’t take you longer than 15 minutes. Once you’re finished and everything is all good, you’ll be free and clear to drive sober for another month.