FAQ’S

After learning that you require an ignition interlock device, you probably have many questions about how this will change your lifestyle. Will a car breathalyzer interfere with your ability to share a car with other family members? Will the ignition interlock device require constant maintenance? Is it safe to take a breath test while driving? At Smart Start of Oregon, we will guide you through the process of living with an ignition interlock device and we will make sure that you are comfortable with all aspects of your car breathalyzer. Below are answers to frequently asked questions.

Please feel free to contact us at Smart Start of Oregon with any further questions that you may have regarding car breathalyzers. We are available to take your calls and 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us at (888) 368-2889 or email us at your convenience.

Q – Can a balloon or other air source be used to mimic human breath?

A- No. All Smart Start ignition interlock devices are equipped with tamper-proof technology, which stops the test when a false breath sample is used.

Q – If you have an Oregon ignition interlock device restriction, can you have another person perform the breath test to start the vehicle? 

 A – No, not legally. It’s against state law for anyone to blow into an Oregon ignition interlock device to start a motor vehicle for an individual with a restricted driving privilege. Plus, there is an added safeguard – a Smart Start ignition interlock requires periodic “rolling retests” once the car is in motion. So whoever is actually driving the car will have to take a breath test no matter what. If a rolling retest is failed or not taken, the unit will log a violation.

Q – Will an Oregon ignition interlock device lost its date if it is disconnected from the car’s battery?

A- No. A Smart Start ignition interlock is equipped with a backup lithium battery that preserves the data log’s memory even if the unit is disconnected from the primary power source.

Q – Will an Oregon ignition interlock device shut down the car’s engine if you fail to perform a rolling retest when prompted?

 A – No. This is a common myth about Oregon ignition interlock devices.A Smart Start ignition interlock device can only prevent a car from starting if the driver fails the initial breath test. If your car’s engine does stop, and you believe the Oregon ignition interlock device is causing the problem, the unit may be able to self-diagnose and indicate what the problem is with the service light. You can also call the nearest Smart Start service center for help.

Q – Can you leave the car running while drinking inside a bar and then drive away?

 A- No. The Oregon ignition interlock device will prompt you to perform a rolling retest throughout the time the engine is running, even if the car itself is not moving. If you don’t perform the rolling retest, the unit will record a violation. With some devices, the horn will begin honking continuously until the engine is shut off.

Q – What happens if you forget about a schedule service appointment?

A- The device will remind you with a flashing light or an audible tone. If the Smart Start ignition interlock is not then serviced, the device will go into lockout mode and your vehicle will be inoperable until the unit is serviced. Once the device is in lockout mode, the vehicle must be towed to a service center or a technician must perform remote service.

Q – What if you are taking medicine that contains alcohol?

A- Alcohol-based medicines might cause you to fail the breath test. Alcohol is alcohol, so a breath alcohol content that exceeds the preset limit will prevent the vehicle from starting, regardless of the source of the alcohol. At your Smart Start of Oregon training session, we will recommend that you avoid such medications and any other substances that contain alcohol. Our extensive training is one of the many benefits you’ll receive as a Smart Start ignition interlock customer.

Q – How will alcohol-based mouthwash affect an Oregon ignition interlock device?

 A- If you are using an Oregon ignition interlock device, Smart Start of Oregon recommends that you not use alcohol-based mouthwashes or to make sure you rinse your mouth with water afterward. Allow 15 minutes for the alcohol to dissipate before using the ignition interlock device. If you fail to follow these instructions, the unit will register a violation.

Q – What happens when you fail a breath test?

 A – The Oregon ignition interlock device will go into a short lockout period after the first failed breath test and a longer lockout after any subsequent failed test. The first lockout gives you a chance to allow any mouth alcohol – from mouthwash, for example – to dissipate.

Q – Can others besides the participating driver use a car equipped with a Smart Start ignition interlock?

 A- Yes. However, every driver who uses the vehicle must pass a breath test in order to start the vehicle and continue driving. Every driver who intends to use a car equipped with an Oregon ignition interlock device should be trained to use the device. The driver to whom the Smart Start ignition interlock is assigned is responsible for all activity recorded on the unit, whether by you or any other driver.

Q – What happens when a vehicle equipped with an Oregon ignition interlock device needs repairs?

 A- A driver using a Smart Start ignition interlock device should contact the nearest service center before having any repairs done. Any repair shop must document any repair that requires disconnection of the battery, because the unit will record a violation if its primary power source is interrupted.

Q – What happens if a vehicle equipped with an Oregon ignition interlock device stalls in traffic?

 A – The Oregon ignition interlock device will permit you to restart the vehicle without having to take a breath test, but you will be prompted to perform a test shortly after restarting the engine. This delay allows you to pull over if needed.

Q – What happens if you are out of state and have problems with Oregon ignition interlock device?

A – In the unlikely event you have problems with your Smart Start ignition interlock, you can find Smart Start service locations throughout the United States. Simply contact Smart Start at our toll-free number, 1-888-368-2889, for assistance.

Q – Will installing an Oregon ignition interlock device harm your vehicle?

A – No. A Smart Start ignition interlock is connected only to the wiring under the dashboard. When the unit is removed by one of our qualified technicians, your car will be restored to the condition it was in prior to installation.

Q – Are “rolling retests” dangerous?

 A- No. You have six minutes to perform a rolling retest after a prompt – this allows ample time to pull over if needed. However, you also can perform rolling retests safely while driving without ever taking your eyes off the road.

Q – How often must a Smart Start ignition interlock be calibrated?

A – Typically, every 30 days.

Q – Can you use a computer to tamper with an Oregon ignition interlock device or its data?

A – No. Smart Start ignition interlock devices employ proprietary tamper-proof software. A special interface connection, available only to our installation technicians, is needed to communicate with the device.

Q – What does “SLOCK@2d” or “SvcLock48hr” mean on my Smart Start unit?

A – This means you are in service grace period count down and you have 2 days remaining before you lockout.

Q – What does “VLOCK@2d” or “ViolLck48hr” mean on my Smart Start unit?

A – This means you are in your violation grace period countdown and you have 2 days remaining before you lock out

Q – What does “LOCKOUT VIOL” mean on my Smart Start unit?

A – This means you have lost all your points and have exceeded the violation grace period. You must now call 1-800-880-3394 to obtain a one-time unlock code in order to take the vehicle to a Smart Start service center

Q – What does “LOCKOUT SRVC” mean?

A – This means you have missed your monthly service and have exceeded the service grace period. You must now obtain a onetime unlock code to take the vehicle to a Smart Start service center. Call the Smart Start corporate office to obtain this code.

Q –  How do I check my appointment time?

A – Press the # key, then the 1 key on the keypad to display you appointment time.

Q – What do “Blow Harder,” “Hum Stronger,” “Blow Softer,” and “Don’t Inhale” mean on my Smart Start unit? What does “ABORT LOCK” mean?

A – Blow Harder means you stopped the breath sample too soon. Blow Softer means you are blowing too hard. Hum Stronger means that the hum tone is too soft. Don’t Inhale means you sucked are out of the unit. For instructions on how to operate your Smart Start unit, visit our Ignition Interlock Video page.  ABORT LOCK means you have exceeded the allowed number of aborts during a fifteen minute period.

Q – How do I check my remaining violation points.

A – Press the # key and then the number 3 on the keypad.

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