Don't Use an Interlock Machine as a Breath Tester
An Interlock machine is not installed to help you know when you are too intoxicated to drive. It is there to check up on you to make sure you have not imbibed any alcohol at ALL!
What is an Interlock?An Interlock machine is installed when you get convicted of DWI or DWAI in New York State. There is an installation fee and then a Maintenance fee for keeping an eye on it by the Installer. You are responsible for paying for the Interlock installation and maintenance. The Interlock has a breath tester in it and it has a video camera in it. They are checked periodically by the Installer and if there has been a violation, the Installing company calls the Probation Department and reports that you violated the terms of usage.
You Should Not See the Interlock as a Breath Testing Device to Let you Know When it's Safe to DriveMany people see the Interlock as a way to test themselves to see if they're "over the limit" of alcohol before starting their car. That is NOT what the machine is to be used for and if you use it that way, it will result in a Warrant telling you to report to Court for a review by the Judge who sentenced you.
If the videos turn out in conjunction with the breath test readouts to show that you had drunk ANY alcohol, you will be immediately violated and most Judges will send you to jail immediately.
If Your Breath Test Reflects ANY Alcohol, You Will be ViolatedEven if you gargled with Listerine or some other mouthwash that has alcohol in it, ANY Alcohol in your breath will cause the Interlock to first "Lock you out of starting the car" and may turn your engine off in the middle of driving if it then reflects any alcohol on you breath.
Worse still, any alcohol on your breath results in a report being generated by the Interlock machine which goes to the Probation Department who immediately reports them to the Judge. The Judge then directs the Court Clerk to issue an Order for you to appear back in Court for re-sentencing and most of the time, the Judge will sentence you to jail time.
So avoid any type of alcohol usage while you have the Interlock machine in your vehicle or any vehicle you drive.
If you Lock Out the Interlock and Change Drivers, It is Still a ViolationSome drivers think that since the Interlock locked them out of using their car, they must then change drivers and that will clear them. That is NOT TRUE. Once you get locked out of the Interlock, you will have a report registered against you.
Sometimes they don't act on it if there is only one violation, but don't let that lull you into a false sense of security. Once they get another violation or more than one, the Court will hold them ALL against you at the time you finally appear in Court.