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Using Your Ignition Interlock Device: FAQs

Here are answers to the most common Ignition Interlock Device questions you’ll encounter, without all of the complex jargon. The Smart Start multilingual customer service team is also available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can always ask our friendly service technicians for instructions at your installation appointment.  You can also find online training videos with step-by-step instructions for using your IID.

“Blow harder” means that your breath sample did not last long enough for your test to register.  “Hum stronger” means that you began humming either too late or too soon.  It might also mean that your hum was not strong enough to register.  “Blow softer” means that your breath sample was too strong.  “Don’t inhale” means that you might have inhaled while your lips were still around the mouthpiece, therefore sucking air into the unit.  “Abort tamper” means that you covered the vent on the back of your IID while blowing.  “Mouth closer” means that you’ll need to hold the Ignition Interlock Device more firmly against your mouth to avoid letting the device pull away as you blow.  To complete your test successfully, you will need to blow steadily for the full time of your test.  Keep both your breath volume and your hum even during testing.

“Abort lock” means that you have exceeded the allowed number of aborts during a 15-minute period and will need to wait until the countdown completes before you attempt another test.

“Initial BAC” means that the device has detected alcohol during your initial test.  “RRTEST” means that the device detected alcohol during your rolling re-test.  “CIRC” means that circumvention has occurred in the form of you disconnecting your handheld while driving.  “Templock” means that your test detected a low level of alcohol and your device has been temporarily locked based on your state’s limits.  “RRSkip” means that a rolling re-test skip has occurred because you did not take a test when prompted after your initial test.  Even if you are at your destination, you must test again if your device prompts you to do so.

Press the # key and then the number 3 on the keypad.

This means you are in service grace period countdown and you have 2 days remaining before you lock out.  You must take your vehicle to the nearest Service Center to have it calibrated before the countdown ends.  You can find the location nearest you here.

This means you are in your violation grace period countdown and you have 2 days remaining before you lock out.  You must take your vehicle to the nearest service center to have it calibrated before the countdown ends.  To find your nearest service center, click here.

This means you have lost all your points and have exceeded the violation grace period. You must now call 800.831.3299 to obtain a one-time unlock code in order to take the vehicle to a Smart Start service center.  You can also click here to obtain a one-time, six-hour lockout code.  You must take your vehicle to a service center within 6 hours of entering the code to regain the use of your device.  If you fail to take your vehicle to the nearest service center within 6 hours, you will unfortunately have to tow your vehicle at your own expense.

This means you have missed your monthly service and have exceeded the service grace period.  You must now obtain a onetime unlock code to take the vehicle to a Smart Start service center.  Call the Smart Start corporate office to obtain this code.

Press the # key, then the 1 key on the keypad to display your appointment time.

Never. In fact, our devices have a safety feature where, if your vehicle does shut off or stall for any non-IID reason, you’ll have a full two minutes to restart your vehicle without taking a test.

It varies, depending on a person’s constitution and metabolism.  Make sure to rinse your mouth out with water before taking a test to ensure maximum accuracy.

No, but the technology is constantly evolving. Remember that using marijuana or any other illicit drug can also result in an impaired driving charge.