When you have an ignition interlock installed on your vehicle you expect that a few things will happen. You expect that you’ll need to drive sober and provide an alcohol-free breath sample in order to continue driving, and you expect that you’ll have to blow into your ignition interlock if you’re required to do a rolling retest.
Unless you’ve been drinking alcohol, what you might not expect is to be locked out or prevented from starting your car because of your interlock. There are two different kinds of lockouts that could affect you.
If you cause a temporary ignition interlock lockout
A temporary lockout can happen if you fail your ignition interlock breath test. If you do fail, you’ll be required to wait for a period of time before you can blow again. That waiting period goes up if you fail your breath test for a second time, and if you continue to blow and fail, you could be locked out for hours.
If you cause a permanent lockout
There’s a reason why you need to attend all of your service appointments. These appointments are designed to inspect and calibrate your interlock as well as download your service records. If you miss a scheduled service appointment the timer will start ticking on your car and you’ll have five days before you’ll enter what’s known as a permanent lockout.
In a nutshell, when a permanent lockout occurs, your car will not start. You’ll have to go to a service center to have it reset before you can get back on the road.
An ignition interlock lockout can mean you miss days of work and other important events in your life. To avoid that, all you have to do is drive sober, stick to your appointments, and finish out your interlock penalty period.