Can you “fool” the Ignition Interlock Device?
The short answer is no. You cannot fool the Ignition Interlock Device. However, there are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding the new Ignition Interlock Device now required by law in Los Angeles County for those convicted of a DUI. As with any new law, there remain many loopholes and issues that have not been accounted for. Even as a pilot project, it seems to be fairly difficult to “fool" the ignition interlock machine in any of the following ways.
Can someone use a balloon or other air sources to mimic human breath, or have someone else take the test for the driver?
The device currently has anti-circumvention techniques which allow the machine to abort any phony breath samples. This allows it to instantly detect when actual human breath is not being blown into the device and will cause the machine to report the failed sample.
Furthermore, you may not have someone else legally take the breath test on your behalf before starting the vehicle. According to California Vehicle Code §23247, it is illegal to have another person blow into the device or to start a vehicle equipped with the device for the purpose of allowing someone whose driving privilege has been suspended to operate a vehicle. For those who aid in the circumvention of the machine, they can be fined or served jail time under California law.
In addition, the device will ask for a “running retest" throughout the time the vehicle is running. If this running retest fails, the unit will log a violation and in some vehicles the honk will continue sounding until the vehicle is turned off. It is important to note that the “running retest" will not cause the driver to take his or her eyes off the road. When the device signals for a retest, the driver has a few minutes to provide the sample. This gives them plenty of time to pull off the road into a safe area and provide the necessary sample. No buttons need to be pushed, the driver need only blow into the unit.
Even if a person is taking medicine that may have alcohol in its ingredients, or have used mouthwash beforehand, the machine will indicate a presence of alcohol over the preset limit and log in a fail. Persons required to install the device are strongly cautioned to avoid such medicine or mouthwash or make other accommodations.
Do not attempt to disconnect the battery of the machine in hopes that it will “forget" or erase any logged violations. The unit has a backup lithium battery to protect its memory.
While there are many unseen problems with the new law, it seems as if the machines have been made to accommodate for those who try to “fool" its purpose. If you have been caught in violation of any requirements of the device speak to an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney who can provide you with the answers you are looking for!