3 Reasons Why You’d Get Locked Out Of Your Ignition Interlock Device

ignition interlock deviceOnce you’ve had an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle for awhile, it becomes fairly routine to use. When you want to start your vehicle, just pick up the interlock device, blow into it, and you’re free to drive as your license provides. But what happens if you get ‘locked out’ or can’t start your car because of your ignition interlock device? It is frustrating, so here are some common reasons and suggested solutions.

Here are 3 reasons why you’d get locked out of your ignition interlock device:


Failed Test

One reason why your ignition interlock device won’t let you start your vehicle is because you have alcohol on your breath. The threshold for the amount of alcohol you can have in your system before driving will vary according to state, but it is ALWAYS lower than .08.  Alcohol from foods (like vanilla extract), mouthwash, toothpaste, even hand sanitizer and windshield wiper fluid all contain alcohol and can impact your reading.  If you fail and you haven’t been drinking, rinse your mouth with water, open the car windows to dissipate any environmental alcohol and try again when prompted by the device.  Keep in mind that if you were drinking the night before, your BAC may still be above the state-allowed limit to use an interlock equipped vehicle.   While driving, if you are required by the state to take a “rolling re-test” make sure to avoid drinking, eating or smoking while driving.  Don’t vape.  Changes to your usual activities and incorporating the interlock take time and patience.   You will get used to it.

Missed Service Appointment

Once you install your ignition interlock device, you’ll need to attend regular service appointments. Intervals vary between 30, 60 and 90 days.  We send a reminder email to you prior to your scheduled appointment.  The best plan is to make your next appointment at the time of your current one.  A Guardian Interlock device will give you daily reminders of when your service appointment will be, and if you miss your appointment, your vehicle will be put in permanent lockout. At that point you’ll have to have it towed into the service center for a lockout reset, so be sure to always attend your service appointments.

Changes were made to the vehicle or the device

If you try to remove or disable the device yourself, you could be locked out of your vehicle. If you need to work on your car, including replacing a battery or getting an oil change, call us FIRST.  You will need a mechanic’s affidavit for the state and a special code for the mechanic to bypass the interlock.  Not doing these things before you service your car will read as an attempt to circumvent it.   That’s a state violation.