There’s a reason why Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been promoting ignition interlocks as part of their campaign to eliminate drunk driving – interlock devices have been proven to stop drunk drivers from driving drunk again by up to 67%, and states with all offender ignition interlock laws have seen a reduction in drunk driving related crashes and fatalities.
Ignition interlocks work, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to be the focus of a few misconceptions. Here are some of the top interlock myths debunked:
Mouthwash will cause a fail on the test
Certain mouthwashes can cause a fail on a breath test, but only if you don’t allow for enough time between when you use the mouthwash and when you blow into your interlock device. There are types of mouthwash available on the market that don’t have any alcohol in them, and if you’re concerned about the length of time between testing and when you use your mouthwash, you should try one of them. If you rinse your mouth with water before you take your breath test, you should have no problem.
An interlock device is not accurate
Unlike pocket or handheld breathalyzers that are designed for convenience and provide an estimate of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC), ignition interlock devices must meet an established standard set out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This standard requires all interlock devices to be approved by the NHTSA, and Guardian Interlocks use the same fuel cell technology used in police breathalzyers to accurately assess your breath sample.
If I put the ignition interlock device in our family vehicle, my spouse won’t be able to drive it
Anyone can drive your vehicle as long as they provide a breath sample to start it. Just like the person who is participating in the interlock program, if they do register a fail on the breath sample, the vehicle won’t start.
I’ll crash my car if I take a rolling retest while driving
When you receive an indication it’s time to take a rolling retest, you have a few minutes to provide your sample. That means you can safely pull over to the side of the road or a parking lot to provide your sample, and all you’ll need to do is blow for it to register.
These are only a few of the ignition interlock myths you might hear. For more take a look at Guardian Interlock’s 5 Ignition Interlock Myths , and if you know of an ignition interlock myth not posted, share it in the comments.