Are My Failed IID Breath Samples Reported to the State? (2023)

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(Video) Ignition Interlock Questions | Answers from an Attorney

An ignition interlock device is an effective tool to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and endangering themselves and others. If you have a car breathalyzer installed in your vehicle, you’ll be required to provide a breath sample into the device to start your car.

How does a car breathalyzer work?

Drivers are required to blow air into the device, sensors within the ignition interlock device will measure the alcohol level of air in your lungs and report a breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) estimate. If your BrAC is within your state’s legal limits, you will be prompted to start your vehicle, but if the sample provided is over the legal limit, you have failed the test and will not be allowed to start your vehicle. In most situations, you will be able to re-try after a certain time period, if you believe the reading was not accurate.

(Video) Smart Start Ignition Interlock Device Training Video

Are all failed car breathalyzer samples recorded?

Yes, pass or fail, your sample is recorded and you’re responsible for every sample provided. The consequences for a failed breath sample vary by state, and your state specialist can help guide you through your ignition interlock devices state requirements so you know what to do to avoid a failed sample.

You might be curious to know what happens if user error causes repeated failed recordings. Maybe you failed to record a sample, missed a random retest within your allotted time, or dropped your device while providing a sample? You will be responsible for those failed recordings, even failures due to incomplete samples or failures caused by other issues, and not an over-the-limit BrAC.

(Video) Should I Provide A Breath Sample?

What happens if my breath sample fails?

As stated above, each state handles failed breath samples differently. If your breath sample doesn’t pass, your car won’t start and several things could happen, depending upon your state’s laws:

  • You may be able to continue providing breath samples until your BrAC is within legal limits and your car starts. (Note: each failed sample will be recorded)
  • Your ignition interlock could go into a temporary lockout, or service lockout, where you may need a service call to gain access to the device. Each state has its own limit on how many failed attempts are allowed before a lockout occurs and which type of lockout will occur.

Reporting requirements also vary by state. It is your responsibility to understand your state’s reporting requirements and the consequences. The following sampling demonstrates the variations in state requirements:

(Video) Non-Human Breath Error on Ignition Interlock Device?

  • Some states require missed and failed tests to be reported to them within seven days, some require reports within three business days and others require submission within two days.
  • Other states require a report of all device activity every 60 days.
  • Certain states are also affected by the county or probation officer that monitors the device.

Nearly every state has its own requirements, so make sure you know the rules you need to follow.

The bottom line is that you are responsible for every breath sample you provide to your ignition interlock device, and all activity is recorded. Learn more about understanding how to use your device and visit your state laws page.

(Video) Smart Start's Ignition Interlock SSI-20/30 Training Video

For more information about an Intoxalock ignition interlock device, call our state specialists at (833) 623-0200.


What happens if I fail a breathalyzer? ›

If you fail the initial ignition interlock breath test, your vehicle won't start. You must wait a designated time — called the lockout period — before testing again. The lockout periods vary by state.

Will I go to jail for failing interlock Texas? ›

In general, you will not go to jail if you fail one interlock test.

What happens if I fail an IID test in California? ›

If you continue to fail interlock tests, you'll be removed from the pilot program and won't be able to drive.

What happens if I miss a retest intoxalock? ›

Drivers can get locked out if they miss a random retest while driving. It's important to note that the ignition interlock device will NOT stop the vehicle if a driver fails a retest and the interlock device provides you enough time to pull over to the side of the road to retest.

Is refusing a breathalyzer better than a DUI? ›

The bottom line is that refusing to take the sobriety tests will cost more in the long run, including larger fines and fees, longer license suspension, and possibly longer jail time if it's not your first offense. 5 If you are stopped, your best bet is to take the tests.

Can you drive after failing a breath test? ›

Will I automatically have to go to court and how soon can I drive after a positive breath test? Once the investigation is complete the police will usually detain you until you've “sobered up”. If charged with an offence you will most likely be released on bail and asked to appear in court in three to five weeks' time.

What does violation 1 mean on intoxalock? ›

1. Failed breath sample. This is the most common cause of lockouts. If you blow into the device and provide a sample with a breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) above what's allowed in your state, it will be read as failed and you won't be able to start your car.

What happens if you get a violation on interlock Texas? ›

What happens if I violate? In the state of Texas, if you fail a test, your Ignition Interlock Device (IID) will go into a 2-minute lockout before asking you to re-test. If you fail your re-test, the IID will go into lockout again. This process continues until you are able to pass a test.

How many interlock violations can you have Texas? ›

Upon conviction, a second DWI offender will have their license revoked and an IID required for a period of five years. After a third or subsequent DWI conviction, an Page 7 6 | Page offender can expect to have their license suspended and an IID required for a period of 10 years.

How many times can you fail interlock California? ›

Your driving privilege could be suspended or revoked if you do not comply with your IID restriction. IID noncompliance includes the following: Failing 1 time to service the IID within 60 days. Failing 3 or more times with the requirement for maintenance or calibration within 60 days.

How many times can you fail an interlock test in California? ›

A Single Failed IID Test Locks Out Your Vehicle

So how many interlock violations can you have in California? The state's regulations on IID usage are very strict. Your vehicle may be locked out after one failed interlock test.

How long after you stop drinking can you pass an interlock device? ›

So the answer to the question, How long after you stop drinking can you pass an ignition interlock device test? is anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after your last drink. So really, you shouldn't plan to drive unless it's been at least 12 hours since your last drink.

What BAC is a fail on intoxalock? ›

What Happens if You Fail an Interlock Test? You need to keep your BAC below 0.02% to pass the initial breath test. If you fail a breathalyzer in your car, your vehicle will not turn on and you'll have to wait sometime before you can take the test again.

Does intoxalock record all the time? ›

The bottom line is that you are responsible for every breath sample you provide to your ignition interlock device, and all activity is recorded.

Does Intoxalock track your location? ›

Do interlock devices have GPS? Yes. Depending on the requirements of your state, you may need to install an ignition interlock device with GPS functionality. This information helps track your location with each sample provided to in the event you are restricted by your state to drive in only certain areas.

Can you fail a breathalyzer without drinking? ›

For example, if you have the rare condition known as auto-brewery syndrome, you might fail a breath test without having anything to drink. Even more common conditions, like diabetes, can affect chemical breath testing. In fact, diets like the keto diet could also result in a false positive on a chemical breath test.

Can a breathalyzer detect a sip of beer? ›

Will a sip of alcohol show up on a breathalyzer? Yes - but it depends on how BIG the sip is… It should soon disappear from your breath after 30 minutes or so - especially if you flush your mouth with water or another (non-alcoholic) drink.

What is a first time consequence of refusing a law enforcement breathalyzer? ›

Refusing to perform a breathalyzer test for the first time typically results in a driver's license suspension of 180 days.

What is the maximum sentence for failing to provide a specimen? ›

What is the maximum penalty for failing to provide a specimen for analysis while driving or attempting to drive? A lengthy driving disqualification of 5 years or more and a 26 week custodial sentence is the maximum penalty imposed for this offence at Magistrates court.

Can you be prosecuted from a roadside breath test? ›

Failing to co-operate with preliminary roadside breath test

Any person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to co-operate with a preliminary roadside alcohol breath test (failure includes refusal) is guilty of an offence which is punishable by a fine and penalty points.

What is a reasonable excuse for failing to provide a specimen? ›

A reasonable excuse not to provide is described as a physical or mental inability and this is commonly, but not limited to, medical conditions such as lung and chest complaints or mental health concerns. If a defence of reasonable excuse is raised, then the burden is with the prosecution to negate it.

Can Intoxalock give false readings? ›

These false positives can occur even when you have not consumed any alcohol whatsoever. A number of foods and other substances have been known to cause false results with breathalyzer testing. The same substances can also lead to false results with an ignition interlock device.

Can I have one drink with Intoxalock? ›

So yes, you can still buy alcohol while you're in an ignition interlock device program. You can still have a drink at happy hour with friends. You can still drink wine with dinner.

What is a fail safe interlock? ›

The FailSafe Guardswitch is designed as a safety interlock to be attached to a machine's guard or door. Unlike a standard reed switch interlock, the circuit has been designed to have an "open" failure mode. If the main reed sticks closed when the guard opens, the in-line fuse will blow, opening the circuit.

Do interlock cameras record all the time? ›

An ignition interlock camera only takes pictures at designated times. Typically when a user is powering up the interlock, taking the test, and starting the vehicle. Those photos are downloaded with the other ignition interlock data at the regular monitoring and calibration appointment.

Can I get my interlock removed early Texas? ›

The ignition interlock can only be removed upon receipt of a court order with a court seal or vendor removal form signed by a judge or county clerk.

What is the penalty for driving without an interlock in Texas? ›

First Offense – Misdemeanor: up to $2,000 fine [up to $4,000 if BAC 0.15% or more], 72 hours to 180 days in jail [up to 1 year in jail if BAC 0.15% or more], 90 days to 1-year license suspension, and an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license.

Can interlock systems pick up more than alcohol? ›

An Ignition Interlock is manufactured to exclusively detect alcohol. Currently, Ignition Interlocks do not detect anything other than alcohol. Drugs are not made up of any alcohol properties, so the Ignition Interlock will not detect it, such as someone's THC level.

Do ignition interlock devices have cameras? ›

Do Ignition Interlock Devices have Cameras? Yes. Based on your state's requirements, you may need to install an ignition interlock device with a camera to help ensure that the correct person is providing each breath sample.

How does interlock know its you? ›

Many include micro-camera technology that records who is providing a test to the device. Many have GPS technology to record exactly where a test was taken. All ignition interlocks require random retesting when the vehicle is running.

What happens if you fail breathalyzer test in California? ›

The law says that if you refuse to take the required breath, blood or urine test, your driver's license will be immediately suspended for one year. If you refuse the test and are later convicted of DUI, there will be a mandatory fine and jail time as well as the penalties for the offense itself.

Can mouthwash set off interlock? ›

Ignition Interlock Devices use sophisticated fuel cell technology to detect alcohol on your breath. But your favorite mouthwash could contain enough alcohol – as much as 27 percent, or 54 proof – to potentially cause a fail notification on your Ignition Interlock.

How do you get around an interlock device? ›

How Can You Bypass Your Ignition Interlock?
  1. Using compressed air instead of your own breath to blow into the interlock.
  2. Asking a friend to blow into the interlock to start your car.
Feb 10, 2015

How many fails before lockout? ›

If you fail your ignition interlock test enough times (usually 3-4), it will go into a full lockout mode where you will not be able to drive. Your ignition interlock service provider will have to unlock the device for you, so that you can try again and get back on the road to recovery.

Can you drink the night before with interlock? ›

While you can drink the night before an interlock test, you should do so responsibly.

What happens if I unplug my interlock? ›

If you do remove or disable the device, your IID provider will be notified of the removal and will notify your state legal authority that you are no longer in compliance with your ignition interlock requirement.

Can you drink on Soberlink? ›

The Soberlink unit can detect two standard drinks from 2 to 5 hours post ingestion, or 5 drinks (binge drinking) up to 12 hours post ingestion. At the exact time the exhaled air sample is taken, the Soberlink device takes a photo of the individual blowing into the device.

Can I drink the night before a breathalyzer? ›

Alcohol could stay in your breath sample for about 24 hours. One standard drink could result in a positive test for up to 24 hours, depending on your burn-off rate. On the other hand, A urine test can detect alcohol in your system up to 12-48 hours later.

Can I pass a breathalyzer after 8 hours? ›

In some cases, the breathalyzer may detect alcohol for up to 12 hours. In other individuals, the breathalyzer test may work for twice that long. Although the average person metabolizes about 1 alcoholic drink per hour, this rate varies.

How long after drinking can you fail a breathalyzer? ›

A breathalyzer can detect alcohol on the breath for up to 24 hours. The amount of time that alcohol stays detectable on the breath depends on the individual and the quantity of alcohol consumed. The detection time varies with a person's metabolism of alcohol, which is affected by many factors, including weight and age.

What happens if you test positive on a breathalyzer? ›

The portable test carried in patrol cars only monitors for the presence of alcohol in your breath and does not provide a reliable enough reading to be accepted in court. A false positive breathalyzer test will still provide officers with enough evidence to charge you with a DUI and arrest you.

Can you fail a breathalyzer after one beer? ›

The more you drink, the longer the alcohol stays in your system. Generally, a breathalyzer test can test positive for alcohol for up to 12 hours after consuming one alcoholic drink.

How often do breathalyzers fail? ›

Generally, breathalyzer tests are only accurate approximately 40% of the time. Factor into that statistic that the testing equipment itself has an inherent margin of error between . 005 and . 02% in its BAC readings.

Can you pass a breathalyzer 24 hours after drinking? ›

In Your Blood: Up to 6 hours. On Your Breath: 12-24 Hours. In Your Urine: 12-24 Hours.

How far back does Soberlink detect alcohol? ›

The Soberlink system uses the same standard fuel cell technology employed by virtually all hand-held breathalyzer units and is able to detect 2 standard drinks (12 oz beer; 6 oz of wine; 1.5 oz of spirits) 2 to5 hours after ingestion, or binge drinking (5 or more drinks) up to 12 hours after ingestion (Wigmore and ...


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