As DUI laws get stricter, more and more people find themselves needing to shop around for an Interlock system for their vehicle. With so many horror stories about reliability of some devices and how frustrating they are to use, consumers often look for advice on the best ignition interlock device. Founder of QuickStart Ignition interlock in Arizona tells consumers “If you have to live with an interlock system and you are going to be using it on a daily basis it is wise to get a device that has great reliability, is EASY to use and limits the frustration of its operation. Information is hard to come by; it’s not like a Best Buy where you can go in and look at all different types of flat screen TVs ie. Ignition interlocks.” Some key features a consumer should keep in mind when finding the best provider are as follows:
Ease of use: All interlock providers have breath driven “anti-circumvention” technologies incorporated into the device to prevent participants from trying to falsify a breath sample, i.e. circumvent the device. There are currently three types of “anti-circumvention” methods used by the Arizona state certified ignition interlock providers:
- Hum Tone Mechanism- This type of device requires the client to hum at the same time they are administering a breath sample. If the decibel pitch (hum tone pitch) is not within a specified range, the device will abort the test. Some people have difficulty with this method.
- Suck Back Mechanism-This type of device requires the client to administer the breath test as a series of blowing and sucking back air through the device at a certain time interval.
- Straight Blow- This type of device uses a “bio-sensing” technology to insure the administered breath sample is legitimate and not an attempt to circumvent the device. This just requires the driver to blow and go; VERY EASY. (QuickStart Interlock)
Easy to use Interface: While some Interlock Systems have LCD screens which display text on the interface others have blinking lights. More advanced systems like that of the QuicTest by Monitech actually speak to the user, display appointment times and even have volume controls for ease of use.
Interlock Warm Up Time: Ignition Interlock devices may vary on how they operate in extreme climate conditions, i.e. extremely hot or cold conditions. Some interlocks might have issues functioning if left in an extremely hot environment. If it is a cold environment the device might need time to warm up. The efficiency and number of heaters inside the ignition interlock device will determine the amount of time you have to wait to take a breath test.
Sensitivity to Extreme Heat: Some Ignition Interlock devices do not work well in hot environments, thus some interlock companies will advise you to remove the head unit from the vehicle every time the vehicle is not in use. If you do not want to carry around the interlock device with you during the Arizona summers it is suggested that you ask how the device reacts to hot climates.
Override Code: Certain events will trigger Ignition interlock devices to go into “lock-out” mode. These events could be anything from a program violation to a missed monitoring appointment. When in Lock-out mode you will not be able to start the interlock equipped vehicle. Some companies have the ability to provide you with a numeric code which will “unlock” the device and allow the vehicle to start for a certain amount of time.
Mechanics Code Capability: Most people will have to have their vehicle serviced or repaired during their Ignition Interlock Program. It is important that the mechanic that services your vehicle does not try to blow into the device or leave the vehicle running while it is unattended. For this reason it is vital that your ignition interlock provider’s device has a mechanic override function so that you can avoid any potential interlock program violations as a result of your mechanic.
Detachability of device: Some DUI Ignition interlock devices allow you to detach the head unit from the cord during vehicle inactivity. Some Interlock providers request that you remove the head unit every time to avoid problems with extreme temperatures. Before making the choice to use an interlock provider it might be a good idea to make sure you are able to leave the device in the vehicle if you choose to.
The QT Ignition interlock system distributed by QuickStart Ignition interlock delivers on these key features. For more information on Ignition interlock systems go to www.quickstartaz.com.