How to use an ignition interlock device

How to use an ignition interlock device


Using an ignition interlock device can be easy, just relax and leave it to us to show you how. 
An ignition interlock device, IID or BAIID, is a breathalyzer device that is installed in your vehicle to help drivers stay safe. The device is installed in your vehicle for users to provide breath tests or blow tests into the mouthpiece in order to test your BrAC or Breath Alcohol Concentration before starting your car. 

Ignition interlock devices usually include a mouthpiece, the handheld unit about the size of a cell phone or slightly larger. Ignition interlock device accessories include the hook-ups to your vehicle through wiring in order to power the device through your vehicle’s ignition system. Several states require accessories that help the user and the government authorities monitor the use of the device, accessories include a camera, GPS and real-time reporting. It is very important to pay attention to your specific requirements to ensure you are getting the right device for you. 

Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) champion the use of ignition interlock devices, especially those with requirement technology and accessories in order to protect drivers and keep the roads safe for everyone. 


How to use an ignition interlock device or breathalyzer

Using an ignition interlock device doesn’t have to be stressful, relax and follow these easy step-by-step instructions on how to submit a blow test with your breathalyzer device. Pay attention to the company you with and ensure their company or device have not been suspended previously in the state as that may mean their devices are unreliable and do not meet your state requirements. Companies we recommend to consumers include. 


Step 1

Power on your vehicle enough to get electricity to power the ignition interlock device. It is important to not attempt to drive your vehicle without properly submitting a blow test into the device which will confirm that you are ready to drive. 

Plan ahead and leave a few minutes ahead of time in order to leave time for submitting your blow tests before leaving. Leave extra time here and there for blow tests and retests to prevent the feeling of being rushed. 


Step 2

Submit your blow test—some devices require longer blow times or blow-hum combination blow tests. Be sure to pay attention to the instructions on how to use your particular device. The best providers only require simple blow tests to get you on the road safely and keep you safe while submitting retests. 

Make sure you have no alcohol or product with alcohol as an ingredient in your system at the time of the blow test in order to avoid false or failed readings. False readings that detect alcohol in your system can cause lockouts where the device will need to be reset. This is a precautionary measure to ensure that those who are intoxicated passed the legal limit are not able to start their vehicle. 


Step 3

It may take a moment for the device to process your blow test. Wait for the notification which can be a sound the device makes or a notification that you have PASSED. This can sometimes take 3-7 seconds depending on the device. Once you receive your passed blow test go-ahead notification, you can start your vehicle and resume driving to your destination. It’s as simple as that! 

If your BrAC is below the limit set by your state, your vehicle will start. If your BrAC is above your state’s limit, your vehicle will not start until you submit a breath sample that no longer detects alcohol.


Now you’re ready to go! 


Intoxalock and some others. Intoxalock devices have never been suspended in any of the states it is certified in, which are most. Intoxalock devices and customer support are known for being very responsive and helping users in the moment that they run in to issues, they can remotely diagnose your device and help you through the issue. 


Device features to look for

Look for some of the advanced features in your ignition interlock that make it easier to use. These features can also help prevent false readings and other issues. 

  • No wait time over 0° F
  • Meets or exceeds most state requirements
  • Fuel cell technology ensures highest accuracy in the industry
  • LED screen displays BrAC reading**


Find more answers to your frequently asked questions on how to use an ignition interlock with topics like:

Facts & myths
Submitting retests
Ignition interlock calibration
Passing an ignition interlock test
Failing an ignition interlock test
Things to avoid

Get ignition interlock pricing in your state


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