The world of an ignition interlock device comes along with its own set lingo and jargon, which can be pretty frustrating if your device displays a reading you don’t understand or you have a question for your service provider that you can’t properly put into words. So we’re going to devote our next few posts to decoding the language of the interlocks. We hope this glossary of terms for our QT device comes in handy.
Alarm or Alarm Mode (QT) – Alarm Mode occurs due to a failed or missed running test, or other violations such as an unauthorized vehicle start. If the unit enters Alarm Mode, the unit will instruct you to safely pull off the road and turn off your vehicle. Depending on your state’s Interlock Program requirements, during this time, the horn, or siren may sound, and the vehicle hazard lights or headlights may flash. The only way to stop this is to turn off your vehicle.
Appointment Check – This feature allows users to check the date of their next regularly scheduled Monitor Appointment (the appointment made at the last Service Center visit). Changes to your appointment made over the phone or appointments required due to a recall are NOT visible through this feature.
Arrival (Destination) Test – A breath test that may be required when you turn your vehicle off.
Aggressive Mode – If your breath tests (Start or Running) result in alcohol levels in the Warn or Fail range, the frequency of Running Tests you will be required to take will increase for a period of time.
Diminished Lung Capacity – Some interlock users may have difficulty blowing into the interlock due to a legitimate medical condition such as asthma or emphysema. If this condition applies to you, and your state agency allows this feature, your service provider can adjust the interlock to meet your specific Diminished Lung Capacity. See your state DMV or your service provider for more information.
Fail – A breath test result that is equal to or greater than the Fail level set by your state agency.
High Fail – A breath test result that meets or exceeds the definition of a High Fail as set by your state agency.
Hum Tone – As a way to prevent users from bypassing the technology of the device, they are required to hum while blowing into the device for all breath tests. Users are trained on how to do this when their interlock is installed.
Invalid Sample – Any sample that is blown into the unit that is not direct, unaltered human breath is an Invalid Sample.
Catch back up with us next week for the next edition of this glossary of terms.
Mouth Contamination – Any alcohol that may be present in the mouth due to very recent use of mouthwash, cough medicine or a sip of an alcoholic beverage. This is normally gone within five minutes of use.
Override (BYPASS) Code – This is a single-use code that your service provider may use to unlock your device and allow you to take a breath test and operate your vehicle for a limited time in the event that your unit has gone into Permanent Lockout due to a missed appointment caused by an extreme circumstance. This may be used for situations such as severe weather, serious illness, hospitalization, etc. This also applies to lockouts or pending lockouts caused by program violations or device malfunctions. Anytime your unit is in Permanent Lockout, call your service provider.
Pass – A breath test result lower than the Warn level set by your state agency.
Permanent Lockout – A condition that does not allow a vehicle to start at any time for any reason. This could be the result of a missed service appointment, tampering with the unit or unit malfunction. If the unit is in Permanent Lockout – you must call your service provider.
Recall – A requirement to bring your vehicle back to your interlock provider’s service center within a limited number of days for servicing of the unit. This is generated by a pending monitor appointment, a program violation, unit malfunction or suspected tampering or abuse of the unit.
Pending Service Date Notification – As the scheduled service appointment approaches, the unit will notify the user each time it “wakes up.” Also – if the unit is in Recall, the unit will notify the user that service is required in the next “X” number of days before lockout occurs, so that an urgent service appointment can be made.
Required (Mandatory) Retest – This is a required, mandatory, breath test that the user will be instructed to take in the event that an initial start test results in a fail. The initial start test fail will result in a five minute lockout. When this lockout expires, the user has five additional minutes to take the required test. This test is required even if the user chooses not to drive the vehicle. A failed or ignored required retest will result in a program violation.
Running Test – A breath test required at random time intervals while the vehicle is being driven. This can be taken as you drive, or you may pull off the road in a safe place and take it while the engine is running. You will have five minutes to take this test. Failing or missing a Running Test is a program violation.
Service Mode – This allows your vehicle to be serviced by a certified mechanic in the event that your vehicle requires automotive (not interlock) service. It provides the mechanic with a means to diagnose and operate the vehicle for a very limited amount of time without having to uninstall the device, or take a breath test. It requires a phone call from the mechanic to your service provider.
Start Test – The breath test taken to allow you to start your vehicle.
Stall Protection – A two-minute period of time after the engine is turned off for any reason (including engine stall). It allows for an immediate restart without the need to take a Start Test. This ensures the driver is able to quickly move from an unsafe location (i.e. railroad tracks, a busy intersection, etc) in the event of an engine stall.
Temporary Lockout – A short period of time, either five or 30 minutes, in which starting a vehicle is not permitted. This occurs after a failed Start Test. The first failure will normally result in a five minute lockout. If the next test is also a failure, the next lockout, and any following, will be for 30 minutes.
Visual Alert Device (VAD) – This is a small flashing light that can be installed (as an option) on a vehicle’s dashboard for hearing impaired interlock users. This will alert the user (who may not hear the audible prompts and messages) that new information (text), which requires their attention, is being displayed on the device’s screen.
Warning – Any caution message the device issues due to a user error or upcoming violation. These include the detection of a level of breath alcohol above your set Fail Level, accidentally trying to start your vehicle before taking a test, driving your vehicle close to a restricted drive time (if applicable) and a variety of other events.
For additional information on our QT device, check out our QT Interlock Device User Manual.