General Ignition Interlock FAQs

Here’s everything you should know before you get an Ignition Interlock Device.

Ask the Right Questions Before You Get Ignition Interlock

Choosing the right Ignition Interlock Device can seem like a daunting task. That’s why we put the answers to the most common questions at your fingertips.

If you need answers after your Ignition Interlock Device has been installed, go to our device-specific FAQs.

An Ignition Interlock Device is a piece of electronic equipment that tests your level of alcohol consumption and prevents you from driving your car, truck, SUV, or crossover vehicle until you can pass a test.  It is installed in your vehicle’s electrical system and interrupts the starter in the event of a failed test.  In cases of a DUI or a DWI charge, an Ignition Interlock Device and restricted driver’s license can often take the place of a suspended license.

An Ignition Interlock Device is the proper term for devices often referred to as “car breathalyzer” or “car interlock.”  Whatever the name, Smart Start offers easy, discreet devices, affordable prices and low-cost installation.

Check with your alcohol state authority, such as your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Department of Public Safety (DPS), or related institution for specific eligibility requirements. Many states require an IID in order to keep driving after a DUI.

Your court documents will specify exactly what is required of your Ignition Interlock Device.  Smart Start is a certified ignition interlock provider, so we’re able to meet all of the alcohol state authority’s requirements to ensure that you’re compliant within your state or county.  Just make sure that you have your court documents when you contact our Customer Care Center, and a friendly advocate will make sure your device fits your program.  Call us today at (800) 831-3299 — or fill out the online form, and we’ll call you.

The overall cost of an Ignition Interlock Device is a combination of installation fees, monthly service fees, and removal fees.  Exact pricing is state-specific.  To find out the exact ignition interlock price in your state, call (800) 831-3299.  A Smart Start customer care advocate will help you determine the exact amount for your area of residence, but know that we always strive to give you the best value and the lowest cost in your total ignition interlock package.

Your payment schedule remains unchanged. You can continue paying your monthly lease every 30 days, which is seamlessly facilitated through our Client Portal App.

Visit our Locations page and enter your zip code to find a list of locations nearest you.  We have over 1,800 locations, so you’ll surely find something close.

Yes.  You can fill out our online form to schedule an appointment, or call (800) 831-3299 to speak with a trusted Smart Start advisor today.  In some cases, same-day installation appointments may even be available.

Bring a photo ID and proof of residence in the form of a document verifying your address.  You may also be asked to bring any documents that pertain to your case, depending on the state in which you or your program are located.  If any other documents are required, one of our friendly customer service advisors will let you know.

In many states, you cannot drive on a suspended license.  In other states, your travel with a suspended license is significantly restricted.  However, with a restricted driver’s license, you can drive anytime and anywhere as long as you have an Ignition Interlock Device installed.

You can fulfill your requirement by borrowing a vehicle and installing an ignition interlock there, or by using one of our portable, handheld devices like SmartMobile™.

Some states do require you to get special insurance during your program.  Unfortunately, Smart Start does not work with your insurance company—we only work with you.  We know that each case can be completely different in the eyes of your insurance company, so you should contact them directly with any questions about their requirements during your program.

NO. You are encouraged to make a full stop before taking any test. There will be times when your device will prompt you to take a rolling test (or a test while the car is running), but you will always have plenty of time—roughly six minutes—to pull over comfortably and safely before taking your test.  Taking your time to stop safely will not incur a violation.

We have very special instructions for your mechanic HERE.

Yes, but whoever is driving the vehicle MUST take a breath test and pass before driving. Any failed test will still be your responsibility.