If you are required to have an ignition interlock installed, you probably have an idea of what will happen when you come in for installation. A device will be wired into your car which will prevent it from starting if your breath registers alcohol above a certain level.

There is another part of having an interlock: the monitoring appointment. At regular intervals – in most states it’s every month – you’ll be required to come in for a quick appointment. There are three things that happen during the monitoring appointment:

  1. Inspection. Your vehicle will be inspected to ensure that all wiring is in good shape, and that the device has not been tampered with.
  2. Calibration. Your ignition interlock device is a precise instrument with an important job to do, and government regulations require that it is always calibrated properly, so that it registers your breath alcohol concentration (BAC) correctly. Your technician will expose the device to an exact and known concentration of alcohol, and ensure that the reading is correct. If not, the technician will adjust the reading so it is accurate. This is your assurance that the device is functioning as it should.
  3. Data Download. Your interlock device keeps a record of all tests, starts, passes and fails. It will also record any attempts to tamper with or bypass the device. This information is passed to monitoring authorities.

Usually your first monitoring appointment is set when you have your interlock device installed. It’s important that you don’t miss your appointment. They are a condition of your court and DMV orders, and are vital for remaining in compliance with those orders.

It sometimes takes a while to get used to monitoring appointments, but they only last about 15 or 20 minutes. And in return for those few minutes each month, the freedom of the road is yours.

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