Interlock/ignition device??

Old 10-21-2010, 04:52 AM
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Interlock/ignition device??

Not sure where to post this, but has anyone had to get this device on a car and what was your experience with it?? Thank you.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:22 AM
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Hi Lorraine - welcome

I have no experience with this at all but I did notice we have another thread on this in our Friends and Family of Alcoholics section today

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Old 10-21-2010, 06:27 AM
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I have no experience either Lorraine.

If you are looking for support, you will find it here.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:17 AM
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Hi Lorraine:

I had one on my car for a year after a dui. It is inconvenient sometimes but an effective device. The number one thing I learned from it is just how 'toxic' we still are in the AM after drinking the evening before.

Feel free to post any specific questions and I will do my best to answer.

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Old 10-21-2010, 08:20 AM
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i had one for 6 months years ago. don't drink obviously. also don't use mouthwash with alcohol in it before driving. it was annoying but my fault and not really that big a deal so long as i stayed sober.
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Old 10-21-2010, 11:35 PM
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Have no personal experience, even tough I have 2 DUI's. These were before the new laws became effective.
Heard they are expensive and can be very senitive to what you may have injested.
Whatever it is that you have to do, you will get threw it. ODAAT.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:57 AM
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Hi Lorraine,

I'm required to have one for a year after a DUI I got in March that I just got convicted for last week (I've had the interlock installed since August at the advice of my attorney so I didn't have to wait to get my limited driving privilege).

I am the type of person who worries a lot about things (unhealthily so), but I have found the device to be really stressful. The customer service staff you have to deal with from the interlock provider are typically unhelpful and while not rude, not friendly at all (not that I expect them to be). You get the impression that they can and will hold anything you say against you, even when it's something benign. I feel very self conscious with it (not from people knowing I have it installed-that is top secret!) accordingly.

I have had three issues with the device. The first, before my conviction, a week after I got in installed, I failed a start-up test, but had a pass test about 30 minutes later. I called the incident in to the provider, and the customer rep said I "should be okay" (i.e., no DMV repercussions). It's been a month since I had the device calibrated for the first time where the reading was recorded, and I have not received any bad news yet, so hopefully she was right (crossing fingers).

The second incident also happened before my conviction. After driving into school/work, I accidentally left my lights on, and my car battery was dead when it came time to leave. Since it was before my conviction, I borrowed my girlfriend's car to get a new battery, and after installing it, the device didn't want to seem to work. I called the provider, and got the characteristic short, snippy "customer service." After a while, it did work, although I had to upgrade my battery to a more powerful model (whether or not the provider company will admit it (they won't), the device saps your battery and if you don't drive every day to recharge your car battery, you might not have enough juice to start).

The third incident happened Sunday, just after my conviction last week but before I've gotten notice from DMV that my license is suspended for the year. I accidentally entered my PIN number (you have to enter a PIN to operate the device when you start up) wrong a few times in a row. You can't delete characters you've already entered, so basically if you enter a wrong digit, basically you lose an attempt because you have to hit enter. Well, I was in a bit of a hurry, and entered a wrong digit like 3 or 4 times in a row, and the device locked me out for 5 minutes! After that I entered the PIN correctly and it worked fine, but still-the stress that stuff like that causes is immense. I called the customer service line this morning (they're closed on the weekends) just to notify them of what happened, and they were their usual borderline rude, unhelpful selves. I hope that doesn't count as a violation-the device isn't particularly user-friendly and I'm sorry, but entering the wrong digits on an electronic gadget in no way means you've been drinking. Alas.

I don't know where you stand with your recovery-if you are trying to maintain complete sobriety or not-but I would highly recommend buying a personal BAC checker/breathalyzer. Registering alcohol concentrations is no joke-I'm really hoping my fail reading a week after I got it installed doesn't come back to bite me. My lawyer said I should be fine because it will have been recorded before my official conviction date, so it won't count as part of my year with the device anyway. I hope he's right.

I will say this, though-to the interlock's credit, it definitely makes you think twice about driving if you've had anything to drink whatsoever recently, and when you get down to it, that's its intended purpose. It has definitely scared me straight in that regard. I just wish it didn't stress me out so much. I feel like I'll get in trouble if I even look at it wrong.

Hope this helps, sorry for the mega post.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:09 AM
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I'm going to have one too (for 6 months) as soon as I get my license back (in 1 - 2 months), so I'll be curious to the responses here.

I also, currently, for 6 months have a box in my house I blow into 3 - 4 times a day to test my BAC. It's basically illegal for me to drink (that God I'm sober in AA for 11 months).

You see, society and the courts want me to prove I'm not drinking. I owe it to them to do so.

I try to look at these two "inconveniences" as a gift. A gift I didn't mow someone down or seriously injure anyone while I was being a selfish, alkie, drinking and driving when I pleased. This is my chance to show I'm ok and not a danger to society.

Yes, it sucks and it's going to be an inconvenience, but don't we sort of owe it to prove we are safe again?

I'm oh so grateful I'm not sitting in prison for vehicular manslaughter. There are some who are and they're just like us.


Last edited by Kjell; 11-08-2010 at 10:10 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:21 AM
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I will be going to court in June for my DUI....I really hope I don't get one of those devices....not because I want I drink..but they are really expensive here in Canada...I think we have to pay a monthly fee as well.....and I drive for my business...guess I should have thought of all that before I got behind the wheel...stupid stupid I will never repeat again!!
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by loveon2legs View Post
I will be going to court in June for my DUI....I really hope I don't get one of those devices....not because I want I drink..but they are really expensive here in Canada...I think we have to pay a monthly fee as well.....and I drive for my business...guess I should have thought of all that before I got behind the wheel...stupid stupid I will never repeat again!!
Is there a BAC threshold above which you are required to get one? Or is it more discretionary on the part of the DA/judge (or whatever the equivalent is in Canada)? There seems to be a pretty cut/dry scenario in the U.S. when you have to get an interlock.

In the states, at least in my situation, I pay $125 USD every 60 days.

And we are in the same boat. We both made mistakes. But you know what?
The sun is shining here today, and it's a new day.
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