Smart Start has been the Ignition Interlock leader for nearly three decades. During that time, we have heard virtually all of the Ignition Interlock Device myths.
My Ignition Interlock Device drained my battery. Spicy food, cigarette smoke and even breath mints are causing my Ignition Interlock Device to fail. It just aborts and I can’t start my vehicle.
Together, they all sound like a nightmare. But really, they’re all typical examples of Ignition Interlock Device myths.
At Smart Start, we want your Ignition Interlock Program with us to be as seamless as possible. So let’s clear the air on some of these Interlock Device myths floating around.
Ignition Interlock Device Myth No. 1: Defeating the Device
I can bypass my Ignition Interlock Device.
This is probably our favorite myth to debunk. You may see videos or other information online that talks about how to circumvent your Ignition Interlock Device. Here are three big reasons why that’s a really bad idea:
- We have spent more than 27 years perfecting alcohol monitoring devices that are tamper-proof.
- You’re going to get caught. Either your local monitoring authority or Smart Start will be alerted when a device is tampered with.
- When you get caught, you’ll typically be facing penalties including fines or additional time for your Ignition Interlock requirement.
When someone tells you how to defeat an Ignition Interlock, think of it this way: If they’re wrong (and they will be), they’re not going to suffer the consequences. You will. It’s just not worth it. Do it the right way, and your Ignition Interlock requirement will be over before you know it.
Myth No. 2: Food and Other Items
Spicy or Mexican food, chocolate, cigarette smoke, perfume, hairspray, cologne and even the gasoline at the gas station causes my Interlock Device to fail.
Some items we eat, such as spicy foods, create methane gas that can create inaccurate readings in inferior Ignition Interlock Devices from other providers. That won’t happen with Smart Start Ignition Interlock Devices, since they use alcohol-specific, fuel cell technology.
Smokers should take a few deep breaths before blowing into the Interlock Device – smoke should never be blown into any unit.
Normal refueling at the gas station will not create a false positive test, either. Gasoline in high concentration will not register enough to be a fail on an alcohol-specific device like ours. As for cosmetic products, most perfumes and colognes contain alcohol, but the Interlock will not react to it in heavy concentrations.
There is a sliver of truth inside this Ignition Interlock myth, however. Mouthwash and sprays usually contain up to 30 percent alcohol, so we recommend that you rinse your mouth with water before every test. The alcohol from the mouthwash will usually dissipate within 15 minutes, as well.
Some chocolates, mints and baked goods may contain a small amount of alcohol. That’s another good reason to rinse with water before testing.
Myth No. 3: The Car Just Won’t Start
The Interlock just aborts and I can’t start my vehicle.
The majority of all aborts (and other errors) are caused by improperly blowing into the Ignition Interlock Device. If the aborts continue, check out our training videos, or call our 24/7 Smart Start Customer Care professionals for guidance at (800) 831-3299.
Myth No. 4: My Engine Just Stopped
My engine stopped because of the Interlock Device.
Ignition Interlock Devices are designed to prevent the vehicle from starting if a breath test is not passed. Once you are on the road, you may be asked to perform what’s typically called a “rolling retest.” But If you fail a retest while you are driving, your car will never shut down. The device will simply record the violation.
Myth No. 5: Dangerous Rolling Retests
Rolling Retests are dangerous.
While we’re on the subject, we don’t even like the term “rolling retests.” You should never try to retest without pulling over at your first opportunity. This will keep you and other drivers out of harm’s way.
The Ignition Interlock Device is programmed to ask for a test within 5 to 15 minutes after initial start-up of the vehicle. It will then ask for another test about every 45 minutes on average. Once the unit requests the test, you will have up to 6 minutes to pull over and take the test.
Myth No. 6: Draining the Battery
The Ignition Interlock unit drained the car battery.
The Ignition Interlock will not drain the battery to the point where it will not start unless the vehicle has not started for approximately 10 consecutive days. It is highly unlikely the device would drain your car battery to the point of it not starting. The device draws less than ¼ of an amp when the vehicle is not in operation, and it will draw ½ of an amp when it is preparing for a test.
In a nutshell: The Interlock causes minimal drain on the battery of a properly functioning vehicle electrical system.
If you have any other questions you’d like to ask, Smart Start is your go-to resource for anything interlock-related. In addition to our training videos, check out our in-depth Ignition Interlock FAQ page. If all else fails, you’ve still got our multilingual Customer Care professionals at (800) 831-3299.
Just follow a few simple guidelines, and you’ll find that our Ignition Interlock program is easy to follow, and easy to complete. You can schedule an installation at a location near you, get an online quote, or call (800) 831-3299 for more information.