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November 18, 2013

This is a Guest Post from Barry Saunders owner of Ignition Interlock Company, Quick Start AZ.

Are you in need of an interlock device for your car? If so, you are probably interested in having one of these installed for one of two reasons:

  • You have been required to do so by law due to a recent conviction of driving under the influence
  • You realize you have a problem with drinking and driving, and are attempting to fix your issue before it gets you into trouble

Either way, you need to realize that there are steps you can take to find the best interlock device for your car.

What is an Interlock Device?

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) or Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) checks your blood alcohol concentration before allowing you to start your vehicle.

If the alcohol analyzed in your system from your breath is above legal limits,  the IID will disable your ignition system, rendering your vehicle inoperable. Even after you have passed your initial breath test to start your car, the system will at random times require another breath sample. For a failed breath test in a moving vehicle, an alarm (e.g., honking horn , flashing lights) will sound and will not turn off until the vehicle comes to a complete stop and the ignition turned off.

How to Find the Best Interlock Device

It is one thing to say you are going to purchase an interlock device, but another thing entirely to find and install the one that is best for you and your vehicle.

When searching for an interlock device, pay close attention to the many models that are currently on the market. There are several to consider, so you want to take your time and be patient before making a final decision. Making the wrong choice can prove very costly.

Here are standard factors to consider when searching for the best interlock device:

  • Product Features
  • Reputation for Reliability
  • Ease of use
  • Product Support
  • Price

The latest models of the best interlock devices have as standard features these essential functions:

  • Adjustable breath sample volume which is essential for those with breathing difficulties like asthma.
  • An understandable clear bi-lingual user interface with text and voice messages.
  • Remote Lockout Override via phone to reduce expensive towing and service calls.
  • Durable ergonomic construction that fits well in your hand and in your vehicle with no small parts to break off easily.
  • Vehicle Mechanic Mode for easy car servicing by a phone call. This option is used if the vehicle requires automotive (non-Interlock) service by a mechanic.
  • Breath alcohol validation via ethanol specific fuel cell technology that eliminates problems with failed tests attributable to cigarette smoke or vehicle exhaust. Fuel cell units are considered the ‘gold standard’ of all alcohol monitoring units.
  • Redundant buttons in the event that any of the controls used to operate the unit becomes inoperable, the remaining buttons will assume that function.

Questions to Ask yourself

Now that you have some basic information as to the features to consider when buying an interlock device, there are sure to be a few questions on your mind. Here are several questions to ask and answer before making the crucial buying decision:

  • Does the interlock device have a reputation for being 100 percent reliable?
  • Is there an authorized dealer in my area that can offer installation services?
  • What is the process for using the interlock device, and will I receive training from the company that installs it on my vehicle?

When you answer these types of questions, among others, you will find it much easier to make a final decision on which device to purchase.

At this point, you should have a better understanding of how to find an interlock device for your car.

 

About the Author: Barry Saunders

Barry Saunders is the founder and owner of www.QuickStartAZ.com. QuickStart Ignition Interlock AZ is the premier ADOT certified provider for your Ignition Interlock Device. As Arizona’s exclusive INTERLOCKCUP PROVIDER, his clients can avoid the embarrassment of an interlock device.

This Guest Post is courtesy of The Law Office of Cristine Beckwith in Tacoma, WA.

If you are suffering from Gastroesophogal Reflux Disease (GERD), acid reflux or heartburn, the condition may cause a false high reading in breath analysis for blood alcohol content (the BAC test).  While a blood test directly measures blood alcohol concentration, the BAC measures the amount of alcohol in the subject’s breath.  This is generally done using infrared technology.  A lamp within the BAC machine emits light to the sample (breath) and the reflected light is measured.  The light loses some energy in the sample of breath, and this energy that is not absorbed is treated as a “fingerprint” of the sample.  This “fingerprint” is analyzed by comparing it to known samples.  Upon completion of the test, the machine will generate a print out determining the level of alcohol in the subject’s breath.

The amount of alcohol in the deep lung air is thought to correlate to the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream.  The Blood Breath Partition Ratio assumes that 2100mL of breath contains the same amount of alcohol as 1 mL of blood.  In analyzing a subject’s breath sample, the BAC machine is making the assumption that the alcohol in the breath sample came from deep lung air.  However, alcohol may have come from the mouth, throat or stomach for a number of reasons.  Because the BAC machine uses a computer model to determine when the sample blown into the machine is from the deep lung, the system creates problems when so-called “mouth alcohol” contained in the breath samples mimics the image that the machine’s internal computer believes is a deep lung sample.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus.  This condition can create “mouth alcohol” which exists at a higher concentration than alcohol in the deep lung tissue.  An individual with GERD may have a constant leaking through the esophagus, which means the mouth alcohol cannot dissipate.  This mouth alcohol will interfere with the breath test results, causing a false high reading.

If a person accused of DUI suffers from GERD, it may not be possible for the prosecutor to prove that the breath results were over the legal limit, given that the condition would cause the breath results to be elevated.  If you have been arrested for DUI and believe that your results have been compromised, it is important to contact an attorney right away to ensure that your rights are protected.

Guest Post written by Cristine Beckwith 

The Law Office of Cristine Beckwith defends clients accused of DUI and other matters related to criminal defense in Washington State. Cristine is rated Superior by Avvo.com. 

August 1, 2012

Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar can cause numerous side effects. Some of these include slurred speech, wobbling when walking, poor motor skills and increased acetone levels in the blood. For diabetics, a sudden drop in blood sugar can result in failed DUI blood and breath tests.

Questioning accuracy of breath tests

There have been suits where defendants in DUI cases have proven that breath tests are not always accurate. Because a breath test cannot discern between the types of alcohol on the breath, they can give a false positive reading. Some instances have been reported where someone who has not had anything to drink fails a test due to high acetone levels. Diabetics, people who have been working in areas where spray paint is being used, and someone who has recently eaten bread may have higher levels of acetone as well.

When you fail a field breath test

If you have failed a field breath test, it is important to notify the arresting officer that you are diabetic. In most cases, it is a good idea to ask for a blood test as well. However, it is important to note that a blood test may still show increased BAC levels if you are diabetic.

What you need to know about breath tests

There are some important things to remember about breath tests if you are stopped for a suspected DUI.

  • Check your state laws – In some states, you are required to submit to a breath test. Check with your Department of Motor Vehicles for the laws in your state. Other states allow you to refuse the breath test and opt for urinalysis or blood tests.
  • Breath tests do not measure BAC – BAC or blood alcohol counts cannot be determined by a breath test. These levels may only be obtained by blood tests.
  • False readings are possible – False DUI breath tests are possible if you are diabetic, if you have been smoking or eating or if you have jewelry in a tongue piercing.
  • Body temperature may play a role – Many people are unaware that an elevated body temperature may have an impact on breath tests. Some tests show that when body temperature is elevated by one degree, a breath test may show an increase of as much as eight percent.

If you are diabetic and stopped for driving under the influence, notify the officer that you are diabetic. If your state law allows you to refuse a breath test, it may be a good idea to do so. If you are arrested for DUI and you feel that your breath test provide a false positive result, contact an attorney right away.

Diabetes is a serious disease and most diabetics are unable to consume small amounts of alcohol without having a negative impact on their health. However, whether you have consumed any alcohol or not, you may still be the victim of a false DUI breath test. Make sure you know your rights.

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