Skip to main content

I failed a start - up sample on my Ignition Interlock ( Intoxalock ) . What happens now and what should I do ?

Manlius, NY |

This morning as I was about to leave for work , I blew into my Ignition Interlock device and it registered as a fail . 5 minutes later , it asked me to blow again and it failed a 2nd time . I am locked out for 4 days for service . I had to have my father pick me up and take me to work because I didn't want to risk having any more failed start - up attempts ; on the ride to work , we discussed what could possibly have triggered a false positive . I have not had a sip of alcohol since my arrest ( AggDWI ) , which was over a year ago . So many of my household items contain alcohol , from mouthwash & whitening strips , to cologne & body spray . Perhaps these caused it , but I'm sure the courts will believe their machine over the " drunk " . I'm NOT on probation ( cons . discharge ) . I appreciate any help .

Requirements of my conditional discharge were to complete a Drinking Driver's Program, be evaluated and do treatment if necessary, and have the Interlock installed, all of which I've completed. I was not required to abstain from alcohol -- that was a personal choice, sparked from this life-changing mistake. Also paid $1250 to the court, and $3000 to my attorney. This is my first DWI (a misdemeanor) as well as my first failed sample. It's a class I device. I did not have the key in the ignition, nor was the car running at all, so I'm not sure what I could be charged for other than the breath sample, which I assure you was false. Also, does the IID company notify the DMV, the courts, or both?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5

Best Answer

There appears to be a malfunction with the ignition interlock device itself. You will have to get the device serviced. You are one of many people that I have head this same story from. If the prosecutor chooses to file a violation of your conditional discharge based upon this event, the download from the IID company will be crucial. You must try to find out from the company why the error occurred once they are done servicing the unit.
You may want to alert your attorney as to your current situation.

Good Luck-

Note: For informational purposes only. Seek an in person consultation with an attorney to be informed about all of your rights.


Contact your lawyer and the facility that installed the interlock


In NYS, the designated monitor may recommend a host of penalties or modifications to your conditional discharge which fostered the IID, including including extension of his/her ignition interlock period, a requirement that the operator attend alcohol and substance abuse treatment and/or drinking driver program, referral to the department of motor vehicles to determine whether the department may suspend or revoke the operator's license, or recommend revocation of his/her sentence or release. You best line up a DWI conversant attorney to intercede quickly.

9 NY ADC 358.7

If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.


I deal with this all the time and there are three possibilities. First and most common is that the client is lying and thinks everyone will believe him so he says he was not drinking. Second, and less common is that there is a problem with the machine and you then have to call your lawyer and the company. They will send a technician to test it, but then you are stuck with those results and they can show that you were drinking. Third, you may have gotten a false positive from mouthwash, but that is not likely since you would know if you just used mouthwash or other products with alcohol in them. I suggest you call your lawyer and tell him the truth and see what he wants to tell the judge since you could violate the terms of probation or your sentence,


Hello, in my opinion you should contact an attorney in regards to the following issues:

1. Were you obligated to have the ignition interlock device (IID) at the time of the failure? (I have seen defendants serve their sentence but due to busy schedules have a delay in getting the device removed from their vehicle thus the failure was beyond the time that the device was required.)
2. What should you know before speaking with the service technician about the failure? (Technicians are often called as witnesses because they have a working knowledge of the device, the device is in their possession, and because the customer unwittingly made admissions of guilt while speaking with the technitian.)

3. What evidence exists that the driver who is required to have the IID was actually the one who created the failure? (More than a “failure” is needed to justify a violation of your sentence. That is why advances in the IID have included models with video cameras, photo capability, and fingerprint recognition. An attorney can best analyze your situation after a detailed interview and assist you through your IID issues).

- Good luck and be safe.

Avvo DUI email series

Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and legal advice about DUIs.

DUI topics

Recommended articles about DUI

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer