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Ignition Interlock Breathalyzer FAQs – Helpful, Self-empowering Answers

Now that you have a need for an ignition interlock breathalyzer, we can quickly help you sort through ‘what ifs’ you have in your mind to help you relax. Here you will find positive answers and encouraging support about ignition interlock systems so that the breath interlock device you have installed will really be convenient and a friend to you for the time you need it. After reading this section, if you still have questions beyond what is stated below, your ignition interlock provider is simply a phone call away.

What is a breathalyzer?

There are several words here that are used interchangeably that all mean the same thing; breath analyzer, breathalyzer, and ignition interlock device. This is a technology system that has been refined over the years to enable a person to use their vehicle safely after a DUI conviction for a set amount of time. The system includes a device and software that registers and records readings of blood-alcohol content for each required breath test, the first of which is required prior to starting your car’s engine. Subsequent tests are required while driving; called ‘rolling tests’. You won’t find the device intrusive at all; it is smartly designed with a small footprint (about the size of a cell phone) and no nuisance wires exposed.

If I fail a rolling test, will my car shut down?

Absolutely not! The truth to this myth is that there are strict calibration standards for ignition interlock breathalyzers. These devices must be certified to meet NTHSA specifications for accuracy and dependability, as well as any further specification defined by the State in which you live. Nearly all breath ignition devices are accurate to within .005 percent of each reading.

I wear alcohol-based hair spray, cologne or perfume, will this affect the breathalyzer’s reading?

Yes. You can get a failed breath test result from high concentrations of alcohol-based fragrances. But the good news is that there are workarounds. You can wait to add scents where you wish when you arrive at your destination. You can alternatively buy lower grade alcohol fragrance products that soften the dispersion factor once applied.

What about the use of mouthwash?

We know the value of good oral hygiene and having the benefits of the breathalyzer as your aid to resume safe driving does not mean you have to give up using mouthwash. However, avoid mouthwash that contains 30% alcohol in favor of a lighter mouthwash. Another option you have is to rinse your mouth with water before taking the breath test to start your vehicle. That is a good practice no matter what mouthwash you use.

Is there maintenance for the breathalyzer?

Yes, but you need not worry. What you can expect from this installed technology for maintenance is simply a once-a-month scheduled visit to your ignition interlock installer or an equivalent service center for calibration of the breathalyzer. This is needed to avoid trouble with your device. There should be no maintenance issues you need to personally perform. Any other trouble you might have with your unit, contact your interlock breathalyzer provider.