Some drivers worry about having an ignition interlock installed on their vehicle because they’ve heard that their car might refuse to start, stranding them at home or work.
This condition is called lockout, and while it does happen, at LifeSafer of Canada we want you to know it is preventable – as long as you take some basic precautions.
The two types of lockout you might encounter are temporary and permanent.
If you fail your breath test, you will encounter temporary lockout. That means you must wait a designated time before testing again. If you fail that second test, you must wait a longer time, around 15 minutes. Temporary lockout periods can go up to 24 hours.
If the lockout is caused by alcohol from a source such as mouthwash, or foods such as pizza dough which have yeast, you can wash out your mouth with water and be on the road with your second test. If the fail was due to drinking alcohol, however, you will need to wait longer for the alcohol to dissipate from your system. This can take hours, depending on how much you have had to drink.
A permanent lockout happens when you fail to show up for your service appointment. A few days before your appointment, a light on your unit will start flashing to remind you that you need to take your vehicle in for monitoring. If you miss your appointment, you have five days before you enter permanent lockout. When this happens, your car will not start and must be towed to the service center to be reset.
- Do not drink alcohol
- Wash out your mouth if you have eaten or drunk anything that might trigger a fail
- Keep your service appointment. At LifeSafer you can reschedule if you can’t make your original appointment, but you must come in within that five-day period
Thousands of drivers use ignition interlocks in Canada, avoiding lockouts and going about their lives and travels successfully. You can too. Just follow the simple steps above, and you’ll fire up the engine every time.