How do take my car to an Interlock Service Center if My License is
Suspended?

After a person is required to install an interlock device on their vehicle by the court system, they will receive a letter of suspension from the New Jersey MVC with instructions detailing which centers are capable of installing the device. Information such as the companies’ address and phone number can be found in this document. In New Jersey, there are less than ten certified companies that can install the interlock devices.

Luckily, these companies have networks of certified installation centers spread throughout the state. Depending on the company, the client might find more service centers available than others. There are between 60 and 80 certified ignition installation centers throughout the state and these numbers are continuously growing.

As with anything you are purchasing, it is highly recommended to shop around before becoming a client of an installation device company. Each company differs and can offer a variety of services based on location, availability, pricing, and services. It is pertinent for the potential client to ask questions and choose the company that fits their needs best, so they have the most positive experience possible.

When a company is chosen to install the interlock device by the potential client, an appointment is made at the service center. On the day of the scheduled service appointment, the client should be driven, by another licensed driver, to the center that will perform the interlock device installation in the vehicle that is set to be equipped. The installation process will take around an hour and a half.

Per New Jersey state law, instructions on how to use the interlock device will be provided to the new client in both written instructions and in hands-on training. This will all be provided by the workers at the service center while the installation of the interlock device is being performed. After receiving all of the details of the interlock device, including routine care, maintenance, and emergency procedures, the client should be comfortable using the device for the recommended period of time. Again, it is recommended to ask questions and make sure they are answered thoroughly to the clients understanding.

Full service regional MVC locations: Eatontown, Newark, Patterson, Trenton, and West Deptford

How Will My Interlock Device prevent me From Having Getting Another DUI Citation?

Also called an ignition interlock and breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID), an interlock device is installed in a motor vehicle an acts as a breath alcohol analysis device. Before the vehicle can be started, a breath sample is required. This method of breath analysis prevents a person from starting a vehicle and driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The vehicle can only be started if the sample given is under the legal limit. In the state of New Jersey, the legal limit is .05, and random retests are required while driving.

The interlock system records dates, times, test results, and every time the vehicle’s engine is turned on and off.

Any data recorded can be provided to authorities to prove or disprove compliance with the interlock program.

One of the top brands of interlock devices is the Draeger Model XT interlock device.

The Draeger Model XT has a lit up display that the client uses to navigate the interlock device easily.

Mouth pieces are disposable and insert into the device in order to take the breath sample.

After the interlock device has been installed on a vehicle, a handset and helix cable are the only parts visible of the device.

Attached to the helix cable, placed inside the dashboard, is the interlock device control box. It is what obtains and records the information and cannot be seen within the motor vehicle.

Restoring Driving Prvilieges

An MVC approved interlock installation certificate will be given once the proper training has been completed and the interlock device has been installed. The MVC will restore the client’s driving privileges once they have received and reviewed the installation certificate and the installation work order. The interlock restriction will remain in place, but the client will be able to legally drive. The client’s license will look slightly different than before, now stating that there is a restriction on the license. The words “INTERLOCK DEVICE” will now appear under the restriction section next to a date. That date provided is when the interlock device can be removed from the vehicle and the client can drive without one. If found to be driving a vehicle without an interlock device before the date on the license, the client is breaking the law and can be subjected to various penalties and fines.

How the Interlock Device Works

  1. Upon entering the vehicle, turn it to the ‘ignition on’ position. This is before the motor starts, when the dashboard lights turn on but the vehicle is not yet ready to move. This starts the interlock device. If the vehicle is turned on before this point, nothing would happen. The vehicle’s ignition needs to start beforehand.
  2. Once the vehicle’s ignition has started, the display on the interlock device will light up. A yellow flashing light will indicate that a test breath sample is needed. The device is now ready to receive the breath sample.
  3. Dependant on the interlock device, a sample will be provided in a particular blow pattern. For example, the interlock XT requires the client to blow 1.5 liters into the interlock device. Each device is different and requires a different blow pattern, with some even requiring the client to hum. After the interlock device has received a sample in the blow pattern necessary, the client will need to suck in air. This method of breath sampling proves that a human is giving the sample and that air is not just being forced through the interlock device.
  4. The device will show that it is analyzing the breath sample. If the BAC is below the legal limit, which is .05 in New Jersey, the interlock device will show that the test was passed. It will prompt the client to start the motor of the vehicle and provide a two minute countdown. Within those two minutes, the vehicle can be started and driven as usual.
  5. If the BAC is above the legal limit, the interlock device will clearly display the words ‘Test Failed’ and then followed by ‘Lockout’. A 60 minute countdown will then begin, at which time, the client will not be able to start the vehicle. After the 60 minute countdown, another breath sample can be given. If the sample is below the legal BAC the vehicle can be started as normal. If it is still above the legal BAC, another 60 minute countdown will ensure. This cycle will continue until a legal breath sample has been received by the interlock device.
  6. When the breath sample test has been passed, the interlock device will require “rolling retests” to continue use of the vehicle. The state of New Jersey requires clients to take retests every hour while driving. After the first test has been passed, in order to confirm that the driver is the one taking the breathalyzer tests, a retest will be required about 15 minutes after the vehicle has started. Rolling tests will then be administered between every 20 to 45 minutes.
  7. When a retest is required, the interlock device will indicate it with a yellow flashing light and beeping noise. A retest is required within 5 minutes of the signal so the driver has adequate time to safely administer the breath test, either by pulling over to the side of the road or at the next red light. The retest will then be taken the exact same way as an initial interlock test.
  8. If a retest is not passed, the vehicle’s engine will NOT turn off. The interlock device will make loud beeping noises, alerting surrounding vehicles and possibly law enforcement that something is not correct with the vehicle in question. The only method of turning off a beeping interlock device is by turning off the vehicle and providing a clean breath sample to then turn the vehicle back on.

Choosing the correct interlock service center is crucial to the success of using the device. The certified service centers technicians should be knowledgeable and provide the helpful written instructions.

Service Requirements for the Interlock System

Every interlock device system needs to be serviced regularly by trained professionals at the certified service centers. The service center will provide both a monitoring check and an interlock device calibration. The monitoring check uploads all of the information recorded by the interlock device: BAC data, turn on and off times, tests taken, and engine starts. The calibration ensures the device records the correct breath samples. Per state law, these service appointments should not exceed 67 days. Generally, the service centers will encourage the client to return for the service appointments in 30 to 60 day intervals. The service technicians will also check for device tampering and the entire appointment should take no more than 15 minutes. The interlock XT will be programmed with the next appointment date and the device will remind the client when the date approaches.

If the client fails too many breath tests, a service appointment may be needed sooner than the pre scheduled date. If this occurs, the device will alert the user that early monitoring is required. The client will need to call and schedule an appointment with the service center as soon as possible. If too much time has passed between service appointments, the device will display a “lock out” message. The Draeger XT interlock device will never lock out a device user without warning.

Once the date on the restricted section of the license has passed, a service appointment will be scheduled to remove the interlock device. The client will be given paperwork providing proof that the interlock has legally been removed and can then go to the MVC and have the restriction removed from their license.