Visiting a Smart Start service center after being ordered to install an Interlock can be daunting. But drivers, you need to get back on the road again with safety in mind, so you want to go through this process as efficiently as possible.
No worries. Smart Start is on the same page as you.
Below, you’ll find a brief outline of what to expect on your Interlock installation day at any Smart Start location nationwide.
But first … what exactly is an Ignition Interlock?
Ignition Interlocks are devices that test your BAC, or BrAC, level. You may have also heard Interlocks being referenced as car breathalyzers or alcohol breath testers. Keep in mind that some states use the term interlocks differently, such as Illinois with BAIID’s, or Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices. A curly cord connects to your Interlock at the bottom that leads into your ignition system, which means that your vehicle will start or not start dependent on your breath test results.
So, what do Interlocks look like? Smart Start’s Ignition Interlocks are handheld and discreet products that are the size of your smartphone. The mouthpiece allows you to blow into the device for your breath tests. You can get multiple mouthpieces for sanitary purposes from your technician, or the monitoring/overseeing authority of your program.
Now that you know a bit more about your Device…
Continue reading so you will know what to expect on your installation day.
BEFORE THE APPOINTMENT: Prep Yourself
Prepping before your Interlock appointment is perhaps the most important step for you, because, during the rest of the process, you will always have a friendly, qualified Smart Start team member helping you along the way. So, these steps are up to you: scheduling your appointment, what to bring to your appointment and making sure your schedule that day fits to accommodate your appointment.
Scheduling an Interlock appointment is very easy and fast. If you want to call, just dial 800.831.3299, and one of our knowledgeable, friendly customer service agents will help you set up an appointment at your nearest Smart Start center. You can also fill out our form or chat with us online! Smart Start boasts thousands of locations nationwide for your convenience.
Before your Interlock appointment, you will need to bring: a copy of your case paperwork, your proof of residence, your photo ID, and car insurance and vehicle registration papers. That’s it!
*Remember that all states have different requirements. For example, in some states, if you are not the owner of the vehicle you will be using during your program, you will need to bring a letter of permission from the registered owner stating that you can use an Interlock on the vehicle. Ask your monitoring or overseeing authority, or visit our state FAQs’ pages, to know what exactly to bring to your appointment!
Another great way to prep yourself is to find your nearest Smart Start location before calling to schedule. You can find out where the closest Smart Start is near your work or home here.
The usual waiting time for our team to install an Interlock can take an hour or two. Make sure when you are scheduling your appointment that you are blocking off a few hours that day. We do our best to get you back on the road quickly, but keep in mind that we are also being as careful as possible when installing the Interlock. We appreciate your patience during this time!
DURING THE APPOINTMENT: Watch and Learn
While you are at your Smart Start service center, the technician will aid you in the Interlock program by giving you a training video to watch while our team completes your Interlock installation. Take advantage of your wait time to ask our team any questions you may have. You can also look to our website online and review your state’s Interlock laws and FAQ’s.
During your appointment, you will also have to practice blowing into your Interlock as demonstrated by your Smart Start technician. All state regulations are different, but your technician will usually ask you to demonstrate that you can use your Interlock successfully two to three times. Always remember to rinse your mouth with water before taking any Interlock test! Some products and foods with alcohol in its properties can cause a false test – but false positive tests are a rare occurrence for a Smart Start Interlock, which is made through state-of-the-art fuel cell technology.
You may be wondering about your vehicle as it is in the auto repair bay. Only qualified and skilled technicians will ever be in contact with your vehicle during your appointment. Our team is certified in installing Interlocks. Rest assured that your vehicle will be all right during this process.
We want to help you get through your program as efficiently as possible with little-to-no trouble. Our 24/7 customer service team is ready to help you with any questions you may have, as well as our chat services coordinators through online chat throughout your Interlock program.
OK, it looks like you are off to a great start! You should now be equipped with the knowledge you need when coming in for a Smart Start Interlock install. The training videos and manuals we mentioned are also available for you at any time online.
Check back in with us at the blog as well! We provide you with up-to-date resources and tips during your Interlock program weekly.
PLEASE NOTE! Each state will differ in their Interlock requirements, meaning the steps outlined above may be slightly different for your program. It is always best to stay informed. Ask your monitoring or overseeing authority any questions so you do not violate any part of your Interlock program.
Schedule your Interlock installation today so you can get back on the road safely and legally with Smart Start! Reach out to our 24/7 customer service team at 800.831.3299, fill out our online form or speak with a chat services coordinator via our website.