If you have been convicted of a DWI, you may be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle. Such a device requires you—as the vehicle’s owner—to provide a breath sample before driving and will prevent the vehicle from starting if it senses any alcohol on your breath.
There are several questions you may want to ask the person who installs your IID to ensure that you follow all requirements and that it works as it should. If you are unaware or unsure about something, your probation officer or the court will not let it slide. Ignorance is no excuse, so in order to make the best of your situation, you should be as informed as you can.
Questions to ask
Of course, the most basic and important question to ask the IID installer is how you should use the device. There is much more to it than simply blowing into the tube. Most devices require a specific blow pattern in order to obtain an adequate result. Make sure you ask the technician exactly how to use the device and be sure you fully understand. Ask him/her to demonstrate if you are still unsure.
The second most important question pertains to the device’s maintenance and calibration upkeep. Electronic devices need to be re-calibrated and maintained according to a specific schedule, so be sure to ask your installer about this schedule. Failure to maintain the device accordingly may render it misaligned with state requirements, and you could end up getting in trouble.
Next, you should ask the installer what you should do if you get locked out since every device has this function to prevent the vehicle from starting after a failed result or too many failed attempts. Be sure you understand the situations that could result in a lockout and the steps you should take should this occur.
In most cases, states, courts, or probation officers require that you submit proof of IID installation. The installer can provide you with said proof—usually a certificate—that you can provide to ensure that the terms of your probation or other court order are being followed.
The cost of the IID is another frequently asked question. This depends on how long you are required to have it installed in your vehicle. As would be expected, the longer the time, the higher the price. Additionally, the court or probation officer may require the addition of certain features such as GPS, real-time reporting of test results, or a camera that photographs the user. Again, as would be expected, the more features your IID has, the higher the price will be.
Finally, you will want to replace the mouthpieces regularly as this will keep your IID clean and sanitary. Further, if someone else drives your vehicle, extra mouthpieces are definitely nice to have. Many installers sell extra mouthpieces or can provide you with a list of authorized locations near you where you can purchase more.
The bottom line
If any of these questions remain unanswered—or you have additional ones after the installation is complete—you can ask the court, your probation officer, or your attorney. Just remember, failure to abide by the terms of a court order or probation is a sure-fire way to have your probation revoked or otherwise get you into extra trouble.