If you have been convicted for a DUI, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle to reinstate your license. While the regulations regarding ignition interlock devices may differ from state to state, no matter where you are, you’ve probably heard some myths regarding these tools.
Whether you believe that car breathalyzer costs are ridiculously high or that a rolling reading will shut off your car while you’re driving, we’re here to set the record straight. Below are some of the most common myths regarding ignition interlock devices — debunked.
MYTH: Using an ignition interlock device will drain your car battery
Reality: Unless you don’t start your vehicle for around 10 consecutive days, this device won’t drain your battery to the point where your car can’t start. When your car isn’t being operated, an interlock device will use less than 1/4 of an amp; when it’s preparing for a test, it uses 1/2 of an amp. If your vehicle is fully functioning, the device really won’t impact your battery at all.
MYTH: Rolling tests are extremely dangerous because they’ll shut off your engine
Reality: First of all, the device can only keep your vehicle from starting; it cannot shut down your vehicle once it’s been started. A rolling test will require you to test your breath somewhere between five and 15 minutes after the vehicle has been started, after which it will require a test every 45 minutes or so. When a test is requested, the system gives you six minutes to take it, which means you have plenty of time to pull over to a safe location. If you were to fail the test (or avoid taking it), the device wouldn’t shut off your engine. Rather, it would just record the violation, and in some cases, engage your alarm and lights.
MYTH: If you’ve eaten spicy food earlier in the day, you may fail your reading
Reality: This one is partially true. An interlock device will keep your car from starting if your test registers above a preset BAC level, typically 0.02 or above. But certain foods like cinnamon rolls, donuts, alcohol-filled candies, or spicy cuisine could impact your device’s ability to read your BAC levels accurately — but only for a few minutes after you ingest them. If you blow into your interlock device immediately after consuming these foods, it could give a false positive reading. To be absolutely sure, you should wait a little while to drive and rinse your mouth with non-alcoholic mouthwash before blowing into the device. In general, these devices are designed to prevent false positives.
MYTH: A car breathalyzer costs too much
Reality: You may assume that car breathalyzer costs are too high, but they’re actually not that big a financial burden. An interlock device will cost $70 to $150 to install, and then using the car breathalyzer costs $60 to $80 per month. Sure, no one likes paying extra fees, but when faced with the choice of having access to your own vehicle or being forced to take a taxi or bus wherever you go, the interlock device is a better option.
At QuickStart, you can get the best in ignition interlock Phoenix has to offer without the embarrassment of an obvious device. For more information about our products and how we can help you, contact us today.