An Ignition interlock device or breath alcohol ignition interlock device (IID and BAII) is a mechanism, like a breathalyzer, installed and connected to your vehicle's ignition system. Before the vehicle's motor can be started, the driver must first exhale into the device; if the resultant breath-alcohol concentration anaylzed result is equal or greater than the programmed blood alcohol concentration (BAC) which varies from state to state, the device prevents the engine from being started.
All authorized Ignition Interlock Vendors must meet or exceed the minimum standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, not all equipment is the same.
Questions to ask potential providers:
Do you have false positives? These are alcohol violations that are not related to drinking such as food, drinks, smoking, perfume etc., that register as an alcohol violation on your device. Note: The DMV does not differntiate between a false positive and an actual alcohol violation. If the DMV extends your lease contract based on alcohol violations you have to schedule a DMV hearing to contest the results. If the violations were false positives DO NOT extend your lease. This will waive your right to a hearing.
How often does the vendors Ignition Interlock Device (IID) fail? There is nothing more frightening, stressful or frustrating than your IID simply not working. Not to mention time lost waiting for a tow truck, being late, unable to get to your job, doing your errands, or just that fact that you are stranded. Research on your own the reviews from the web or preferably from people who have had a device installed. If you are going to a DUI counseling class ask around. Each interlock vendor uses their own equipment. Not all equipment is the same!
How often does the vendor calibrate your equipment and what maintenance is done to insure that my equipment is reliable? Calibrating a headset is necessary in order to insure that you headset is accurately measuring your BAC. Some shops cut corners and do not calibrate a headset in order to save on time and money. A professional calibration not only calibrates your headset, but has software that tests your equipment for reliability.
How does your IID operate in extreme weather? During the summer there are some devices that will overheat if left in the car. 90 degree weather is considered extreme heat for some vendors. The overheating can cause total equipment failure, inaccurate BAC measurements, or simply you finding a way to cool it down. Ask about this if you are not using Draeger. Some vendors will tell you not to leave it in the car or its your problem.
Winter can be the most dangerous as there are some devices that won't warm up if temperatures fall below a certain degree. Imagine sitting in your vehicle and being unable to start it because your handset won't warm up. There are some vendors who will tell you that you might have to wait 5 to 10 minutes before it will be ready. Sit still for 5 minutes and tell me how long that seems. Now imagine that it is freezing outside and you can see your breath inside the car. 5 minutes can be a long time.
This is a link to the Colorado's Division of Motor Vehicles. This page is a FAQ to common questions and answers
A Draeger Authorized Service Provider (DASP)
Colorado Springs: (719) 599-8701
Denver: (303) 872-3744
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