A Complete Guide to Use a Car Interlock Device

what is an interlock device on a car? Are you scared of installing a car interlock device for false readings and unnecessary lockouts? Well, it is possible, provided you use a bad quality breathalyser in your car. By bad quality, we refer to one that is used, infected and has outdated technology.

It is also important that a technical device like a car breathalyser is simple to use. Unfortunately, many breathalysers take long to operate and have a complicated usage.

If you have not been ordered by the court to install an ignition interlock device (IID), you are in a better position to make a voluntary purchase. The quality of a device designed for voluntary purchase is far better than the one you lease.


Whether you have leased an IID or are planning to make a voluntary purchase, this article will help you understand better how to operate the device.

What is the Purpose of Having a Car Interlock Device?

Car interlock devices are meant to prevent your engine from starting only if it reads that you are high on alcohol. They were made in the first place to prevent drunk driving and the horrible accidents caused due to it.

How does ignition interlock really work?

Before you’re able to actually start the car, you have to blow into the device once. The device will detect you blood alcohol level from your breath and indicate the number on screen. By looking at it you’ll understand if you can start your car or not.

For this function to take place smoothly, the first step is to have a good quality device installed correctly.



How to Install the Car Ignition Interlock Device?

Usually, you need to go to a service centre to install your interlock device. However, there are two things to consider:

  1. Installation will cost you at least $70 extra.
  2. At times, even the technician at the service centre can make mistakes, leading to a lockout. Fixing it will take a lot of extra time.

I can brief you up with how installation works. However, you should try this yourself only if you have an understanding of car mechanics and wiring. Else, this guide might help you monitor the technician installing your device:

  • You probably know that the battery, starter, engine, motor, steering wheel and horn are all connected in your car.
  • The battery powers the starter and the engine when you start the car after which you’re able to drive.
  • There’s a place close to your steering wheel which can be opened and you can see some wiring.
  • Your IID consists of the main device with the mouthpiece and screen, a controller and plenty of wires.
  • Each of these wires need to be connected to different parts of the car – the starter, the battery, the engine and the horn.
  • The circuit should be such that the battery must power the IID instead of the engine when you start the car. Only after you pass your test, your engine is powered through the device.

How to Start a Breathalyser Car?

Once installed correctly, it is easy to use. However, depending on the kind of device you have, it is better if you take out extra time in the beginning.

  • When you turn your keys or press the power button, instead of starting the engine, the battery will power your breathalyser.
  • You need to blow into the device. If you’re using a rented device, you’ll have to blow in and suck back or blow and hum for around 10 seconds. If you’re using a Skyfine device or any other voluntary device, you might have to give a simple blow of only 3 seconds.
  • The tester will take 3-7 seconds to read your breath and send signals to the engine. If the screen displays that you’ve passed, you can start your car; else, you’re locked out till you are clean.
  • Every time you stop the car on a signal and have to restart the car, you need to blow into your tester.
  • This especially applies to people renting IIDs out of compulsion – if you try tampering the device in any way, not only can you face a permanent lockout, but you’ll have to face heavy penalty for doing so by the instrument providers.

How to Avoid Lockout Due to False Reading?

False reading doesn’t necessarily take place due to infection or bad quality of the product. Liquor is not the only source of alcohol we might be consuming. Moreover, there are certain products the device is sensitive to apart from alcohol.


So, you should avoid the following before stepping into a breathalyser car:

  • Avoid using mouthwash or breath sprays before getting into the car as they contain alcohol. If you do use them, keep a gap of at least 15 minutes.
  • Avoid smoking or taking any other drugs as their chemicals can harm your device.
  • Foods containing yeast such as pizza or bakery products can also give false results. Hence, you need to maintain a gap of minimum 15 minutes if you eat any of those.
  • You might think that a little glass of cocktail or a glass of beer won’t do any harm. However, if your car starts with a breathalyser, you are to strictly avoid any drink containing even 0.01% of alcohol. The same applies to chocolates and desserts containing alcohol.
  • If you try tampering the device be ready to face a lockout that can only be fixed by a professional technician. Never try to mess with your device.

No matter how many flaws a breathalyser might have, we can’t ignore the fact that it is really helping avoid drunk driving related accidents. If you use a good quality IID with precaution, driving will be both safe and smooth for you.

So, are you ready to install a car interlock device for good?

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