The first ignition interlock system was invented in the 1970s. Since then, this technology has come a long way and there are currently more devices than ever before to choose from. That being said, they take some getting used to and, from time to time, you may need to troubleshoot in order to get your device to work correctly.
Call Customer Care
The moment you think something is wrong with your ignition interlock device, call the company’s customer care line. They will know how to deal with your specific problem. If you have a lawyer and are worried because you believe the machine registered a false positive, call them as well to get their advice on how to proceed.
The Machine Isn’t Registering
With most ignition interlock machines, you have to be facing the device head-on in order to blow in a way it will pick up and read. If you happen to be facing it from the side or holding the machine at an angle of some sort, there’s a good chance it won’t be able to work properly.
Test Failure for an Invalid Reason
Another problem could be that you have failed a test, but are positive you haven’t been drinking. First, be certain this is the case. Some people think that any amount of sleep is enough to clear out the alcohol from their system, but this isn’t the case.
Secondly, think about what you’ve recently consumed. If you had chocolate, it may have contained alcohol. The same goes for breath mints, some types of gum, and definitely mouthwash. Spicy food may cause a chemical reaction in your stomach that creates methane, which your ignition interlock device can register as the presence of alcohol. Even sweets like donuts and cinnamon rolls can cause a similar mistake in the machine.
With spicy food, take an anti-acid after the meal and wait a few minutes. The good news for the scenarios above is that you should be able to simply wash your mouth out (not with mouthwash though) wait a few minutes and blow again.
Someone Else Tried Blowing and Was Drunk
If you have an ignition interlock installed because of a court order, you absolutely cannot have someone else blow for you. Often referred to as “curbside service” this will get you and the other person in a lot of trouble.
Once this happens, there’s nothing you can do but wait until the ignition interlock system allows you to blow again and then try. However, you’ll have some explaining to do when you get your machine assessed.
The Device Stops Working
Though it’s extremely rare, it is possible that your device will simply stop working on you. Call customer service as soon as this happens to avoid problems with the courts. Like we mentioned earlier, it would also be a good idea to call your lawyer at this point.
Rest assured that your ignition interlock device should be technologically sound enough that you don’t have to worry about troubleshooting being much of an issue. You’ll watch a video and/or be shown how it works before you ever drive off with it. Nonetheless, if any of the above issues occur, you’ll now be ready.