If you’re new to the world of ignition interlocks, you might be a bit nervous every time you blow into it. You might feel you’re being judged, or watched. But in fact, an ignition interlock – also called a car breathalyzer – is a simple, straightforward device with one task: to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has alcohol on his or her breath. The device doesn’t know anything about you or your life; it’s just a gatekeeper watching out for alcohol from any source.
Your interlock is designed to detect alcohol, and occasionally it detects it from sources other than beer, wine, and spirits. As you might know, bits of food in your mouth can ferment and cause a positive breath test. If you haven’t been drinking, this is nothing to worry about. Devices such as the Monitech ignition interlock offer you a chance to correct things and be on your way.
When the FAIL Happens
If you register a FAIL on a Monitech device because of a random trace of alcohol, don’t panic. You’ll be locked out for 5 minutes. Use that time to rinse out your mouth (it’s a good idea to do that in general before you use the interlock). When the device signals that it’s ready, blow again. You should get an accurate reading.
If you do pass, and then pass the required re-tests, you won’t trigger a violation.
It’s also possible that the test is not performed correctly. This happens mostly during the first weeks of interlock use, when the driver is still getting used to the device.
If the screen flashes “INVALID SAMPLE” then once again, don’t panic. It just means that you might not have breathed into the device with the proper duration, strength, or accompanying hum. You won’t have to wait 5 even five minutes. Afer a few seconds you can blow again, following the instructions you were given. You should be fine.
When using an ignition interlock, the byword is “keep calm.” The interlock device is designed to let you start your vehicle if you don’t have any alcohol in your system. Don’t worry, follow instructions properly, and you should be on your way in no time.