Interlock Facts and Myths


There are many myths surrounding the use of ignition interlock devices. Do not let false information deter you from taking the necessary steps to satisfy your legal obligations. The truth is that alcohol ignition interlock devices are an excellent way to get you back on the road safely. In short, ignition interlock devices save lives. At Smart Start of New Jersey, we provide the smallest and most affordable unit on the market. We have the most ignition interlock installation locations of any car breathalyzer device company in New Jersey. Customer service is our highest priority. Rest assured that many of the myths that you have heard about ignition interlock devices are inaccurate.

Myth: Alcohol ignition interlock devices are bad for your car battery.

Smart Start ignition interlock devices cause minimal drain on the battery of a properly functioning vehicle. It is important to start your vehicle on a regular basis to maintain a charged battery and that you keep up with standard maintenance items on your car’s electrical system. The alcohol ignition interlock device will not affect the battery unless the vehicle is not started for approximately 10 consecutive days. According to New Jersey laws, the ignition interlock device must be installed in the car most frequently used. If your car is sitting idle for more than 10 days, it might indicate that you are driving a different vehicle. It is of paramount importance that your ignition interlock device is installed in your primary vehicle. Contact your local Smart Start Service Center for guidance if you are planning an extended vacation or you will not be able to drive your car for 10 days in a row. Smart Start is here to help you maximize the use of your car breathalyzer.

Myth: Your ignition interlock device can cause you to shut down in traffic if you blow a fail during a rolling test.

While your car engine will not start if a certain amount of alcohol is detected on an initial breath test, a car breathalyzer device is not wired to stop your car if you fail a rolling test while the car is in motion. An ignition interlock device will not shut down a vehicle while you are already driving. Smart Start users do not need to worry about obstructing traffic or finding themselves stranded in a bad neighborhood due to failure of a rolling test. Please note, if you fail one of the periodic rolling tests while you are driving, your alcohol interlock ignition device will record a violation in your data history. It is important that you maintain a clean record on your data history to be in compliance with your sentence.

Myth: Tobacco products such as cigarette smoke and snuff may cause the ignition interlock to fail.

Tobacco products do not affect Smart Start’s alcohol ignition interlock devices. Still, to properly care for your car breathalyzer, never blow smoke into your unit. During initial product training, clients are instructed in the proper way to breathe into their units. Smokers are instructed to take a few deep breaths before blowing into their units to ensure that they are taking the breath test properly. Car breathalyzers from Smart Start require minimal lifestyle changes from our clients.

Myth: Mouthwash and breath sprays cause the car breathalyzer to fail.

You do not need to sacrifice good oral hygiene to use an ignition interlock device. Any product that contains up to 30% alcohol, such as an alcohol-based mouthwash or breath spray, can register as high as .250 on an ignition interlock device. Fortunately there are many effective alcohol-free mouthwashes on the market. Drivers who use alcohol ignition interlock devices should choose alcohol-free oral hygiene products to avoid any inconvenience. If you find that you have inadvertently washed with a mouthwash or breath spray using alcohol, simply rinse your mouth with water several times and wait fifteen minutes before taking a breath test. Smart Start clients are encouraged to rinse their mouths with water before every test as part of normal use.

Myth: Ignition interlock devices may fail at the gas station due to gasoline fumes.

This is absolutely false. Smart Start users can feel completely comfortable filling up their tanks at gas stations. Alcohol ignition interlock devices will not react with gasoline fumes.

Myth: Drivers can not wear perfume, hairspray or cologne when operating an ignition interlock device.

Smart Start users are free to wear their favorite scents and to continue using their preferred hair-styling products while using their car breathalyzers. Many fragrances and hair care product contain alcohol, however they will not react with your alcohol ignition interlock device, even in heavy concentrations. To ensure proper functioning of your unit, do not spray any products, alcohol-related or otherwise, into your ignition interlock device.

For additional questions and to arrange for your fee installation, contact Smart Start of New Jersey at 866-384-3567 or email us today!

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