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What happens if your breath sample fails

By November 20, 2019 Breathalyzer

It doesn’t get much better than an ignition interlock to prevent inebriated driving. If an ignition interlock is installed in your vehicle, you must provide a clean breath sample in order to start your car. Some users may wonder if there are additional consequences if a breath sample fails. In general, the only consequence is your vehicle will fail to start but depending on where you live.

What is an ignition interlock device?

An interlock breathalyzer is a device that is wired to a vehicle’s ignition to prevent drunk driving. If the breathalyzer detects a breath over a pre-set limit, it will prevent the vehicle’s engine from starting. Under Ontario’s Ignition Interlock Program, any driver convicted of an impaired driving-related offence under the Criminal Code of Canada is required to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. Drivers suspended three or more times in a 10-year period for other impaired driving offences are also subject to these terms (see the full list of offences here.)

What happens if my breath sample fails?

If your breath sample fails, your vehicle will not start and the interlock breathalyzer will enter a temporary lockout. This lockout should only last a few minutes but can increase if repeated failed attempts are registered. The device may even go into service lockout, requiring the user to make a service call in order to regain access. If you live in the United States, the rules regarding failed breath samples vary by state. Depending on where you live, you may be required to:

  • Report missed or failed tests within seven days or less
  • Submit a report of all device activity every 60 days

Since every state has its own requirements, it’s important to check the rules for failed breath samples in your area.

Ignition interlocks on commercial vehicles

While not mandatory, interlock devices for company vehicles are becoming more common in the trucking industry. Some companies, such as Ulch Transport in St. Mary’s, Ontario, require all vehicles have interlock devices for truck drivers. If a commercial truck driver repeatedly fails a breath sample, they could face disciplinary action from their company.

Although ignition interlock devices are most often used as a reaction to prior impaired driving incidents, they can also be used to prevent such situations from happening in the first place. Not Your Child Corp. has developed an interlock breathalyzer to help keep your family safe while they travel on our roads. We believe our Ignition Interlock Device is a great safety tool for parents and young drivers alike. Pre-order yours today!