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Handling ignition interlock problems

On Behalf of | May 11, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Dui |

If you are convicted of DUI in Missouri, you will likely experience the negative effects for quite a while. Like many people, you are probably most worried about fines and potential jail time.

In addition to these penalties, there are other consequences that could affect many different areas of your life. Your job or career could be jeopardized if your driver’s license is suspended and you have no way to get to work, and your family and friends might treat you differently, leaving you feeling ashamed and in despair.

When an ignition interlock is required

Another possible penalty is having to use an ignition interlock device. According to Missouri law, if this is your second or subsequent DUI conviction, you must install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. The device is called a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (“BAIID”) in Missouri and must be installed in any vehicle you operate.

You must breathe into a BAIID before driving anywhere. The device is set up to test your breath alcohol concentration and if it is over a certain point, prevent your vehicle from starting.

The purpose of a BAIID should be obvious. Its intent is to prevent you from getting behind the wheel when you are intoxicated. However, there are some potential problems you can encounter with your BAAID.

Testing positive when you have not had any alcohol

A common problem occurs when the BAIID registers alcohol on your breath when you have not consumed any. Your test fails and your vehicle will not start, preventing you from going to work or wherever you need to go.

The reason this happens is usually because you consumed another substance that contained alcohol. Examples of substances from everyday life that contain alcohol include mouthwash, air fresheners, hand sanitizers, cologne and perfume.

You can reduce the chance of failing the test for this reason by avoiding these types of products before you are going to drive. Do not keep them in your vehicle. Some foods, such as bread, can even cause a failed test, so avoid eating them right before you are planning to drive.

Follow all instructions and keep your device dry

Make sure you are following all instructions on how to operate your BAAID. Sometimes, the device will register an invalid or insufficient sample because your breath was irregular, or you did not give the device enough time to register a proper sample. Stay calm when giving your sample and exhale for at least 3 seconds.

Keeping your BAIID dry and clean can also help you avoid false readings. Sometimes, water vapor condenses in the mouthpiece and can cause a failed test. Keeping an extra mouthpiece in your vehicle is a good idea.

Contact the manufacturer if problems persist

If you continue to experience problems with your BAIID, you should contact the product’s manufacturer. You will want to be prepared to prevent any potential problems if you are accused of tampering with the device or trying to alter the results.

You have enough challenges after a DUI conviction and do not need to deal with the headaches of a BAIID giving you false readings. These tips can help you use your BAIID properly and allow you to continue to drive your vehicle.