Ignition interlock device facts vs. myths


Common ignition interlock & breathalyzer device myths


Myth: “Some foods or drinks can cause a false positive.”

In some cases, this myth is true. Some foods, drinks and common household items can register alcohol much like traditional alcoholic beverages would. To prevent this from happening, here is what you should consider. If any alcohol is present in the food or drink that you are consuming, even at the slightest amount, it is possible for the breathalyzer to recognize it in your sample. Ensuring your mouth is clean and clear of any food particles, as well as waiting roughly 15 minutes after a meal to providing your sample can help you avoid blowing a positive sample. Items such as mouthwash or breath spray are common products that can lead to a positive BrAC reading if taken prior to giving the sample. These types of items which contain a small amount of alcohol are important to avoid prior to providing your blow test. Most interlock companies will still count a positive BrAC on your account, even if the source is a contaminant. Because of this, it’s important to avoid these things while using your ignition interlock device.


Myth: “You can trick or cheat the blow test.”

False. There are many ways people attempt to fool the breathalyzer, yet the device always recognizes what is and isn’t a true blow test. Ideas for tricking the breathalyzer range from using breath mints or old pennies in hopes to lower the individuals BAC, to using an air compressor to act as a fake blow test. These ideas, though creative, have never worked to trick the ignition interlock devices. The device’s system is made to monitor the breath sample molecules to determine if any alcohol content is in the sample. Breath mints, old pennies, eating food, or any other products that might hide the smell of alcohol on your breath, will not cover the actual amount of alcohol in you due to the device’s advanced technology. Using an air compressor to give a sample will also fail in an attempt to trick the system. To avoid future problems, it is advised to provide only true and clean samples.


Myth: “Someone else can do a blow test for you.”

False. If you plan to drive your vehicle, having another individual conduct the blow test for you is illegal. Most ignition interlock companies come with a camera that is installed in your vehicle along with the breathalyzer. These cameras monitor all blow tests and rolling retests that occur in the vehicle. In fact, most states have laws against this from happening, primarily resulting in jail time and fines. However, if someone else plans to drive your vehicle, as long as the individual passes the blow test, they have the ability to operate your vehicle. 


Myth: “You can share an IID with someone.”

True. Yet there are other implications that go along with this. The ignition interlock is your device, therefore it is your responsibility. Other individuals can use your ignition interlock in order to drive your vehicle, but the device cannot be deinstalled from your vehicle and placed into another. It is important that the individual using your vehicle knows how to operate the device, as all violations that occur will be at the owner’s responsibility.


Myth: “IID’s can detect drugs in your system.”    

This is false. At this time, ignition interlock devices can only detect alcohol in your system. However, it is highly advised that individuals do not operate the vehicle impaired. Smoke from marijuana or tobacco products could also potentially damage the internal workings of the IID, which would then cause a charge to the owner of the device. 


Myth: “Installing an IID can hurt my vehicle.”

This is false. Service centers throughout the United States and Canada are trained and skilled to install and deinstall these devices without damaging the vehicle or causing any performance related issues. The ignition interlock is installed into the wiring of the vehicle which is connected to the engine, hence causing the device to be properly passed before the engine can be started. When the device is deinstalled, all wiring is returned to its original configuration. There will be no extra equipment needed, no holes drilled, and overall, no damage done to any part of the vehicle.


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