Oregon Ignition Lock Information


In 2011 House Bill 3075 was passed unanimously, mandating that first time DUII offenders would now be required to install ignition interlock devices for roughly nine months if they want to enter a diversion program and avoid a DUII conviction on their record. This means that everyone – social drinkers who made a mistake, problem drinkers who think they’re social drinkers, hard-core drinkers and those who only had one this one time – will all have to “blow before they go,” as part of their diversion conditions.


What is an ignition interlock device (IID)?

It’s a computerized breath analyzer which connects to your car’s ignition system. Prior to starting the vehicle the driver must provide a breath sample by blowing into the handset of the IID. If the alcohol content in the driver’s breath sample is blow a preset limit the car will start and operate as normal. If it’s above the preset limit, the car will not start.


The IID requirement starts either;

  • On the last day of the DUII suspension (generally 120 days after date of arrest), or,
  • As a condition of receiving a hardship permit during the DUII suspension (generally 60 days after date of arrest).

In either case the requirement continues for one year for the first conviction of DUII and two years for a second or subsequent DUII conviction.

If you do not install an IID when required or remove the device at anytime during the requirement, DMV will suspend your driving privilege.

Fees and Costs:You are responsible for paying all costs related to the ignition interlock device, including the installation, lease, monthly monitoring and removal of the device.

Note: You may be eligible for financial assistance if you cannot afford to pay the costs associated with the device. To apply for assistance, you must meet the standard for indigence, which is the possession of a current Food Stamp Identification Card issued by the Oregon Department of Human Services. To request a fee waiver, you must provide proof of indigence to a vendor who is contracted with the Addictions and Mental Health Division to obtain reimbursement of the device fees.

You will be provided with a list of licensed installers by the Diversion Office when you attend your first evaluation appointment. I’ve also included common questions and answers for your benefit below. Still, if you have any other questions or I can help in any other way, please feel free to call me anytime.

Are you facing DUII Charges? I can help you.

Frequently Asked Questions


What does an ignition interlock cost?

An ignition interlock will cost around $2 per day ($65–75 per month) to lease. Some ignition interlock companies will charge up to $65 to install and $25 to remove your ignition interlock. Unfortunately, you can expect to pay approximately $1000 for the IID over the course of your diversion period.

How accurate is an interlock?

All interlock devices must be certified to meet NTHSA specifications for accuracy and dependability and often by each state’s specs as well. Almost all interlock devices are accurate within .005.

If the arrestee must have photo ID during the suspension period he may go to DMV and apply for an ID card at any time. However, at the end of the suspension period he will not be able to simply pay a reinstatement fee but instead he will have to completely re-test in order to get a new driver’s license.

Can the interlock unit drain my battery?

The LifeSafer FC100, used by Affordable Ignition Interlock, uses minimum battery power. Problems occur only if there is already an electrical problem with your car or if the car’s battery has died.

Will eating spicy foods cause my interlock to fail?

The mix of spicy foods and HCL from your stomach creates methane, which in older interlock models would register as a false positive. With the new alcohol specific technology used in the Affordable Ignition Interlock device, this phenomenon does not occur anymore.

Can cigarette smoke and snuff cause my interlock to fail?

You should always take a few deep breaths before attempting a test, if you are a smoker. While cigarette smoke does not affect the interlock, however; you should never blow smoke into any unit.

Will filling my car with gasoline at the service station cause my interlock to fail?

Refilling your car at the gas station will not create a false positive test. In fact, gasoline in high concentration will not register as a fail on an alcohol specific interlock.

Will I fail if I use perfume, hairspray, after-shave, or colognes?

Yes. These items all contain large amounts of alcohol, and all interlock devices will detect this alcohol if it is present in the sample given.

Can using mouthwash cause my interlock to fail?

Some mouthwash brands and sprays have up to 30% alcohol, which will definitely create a positive test on your interlock. We recommend that you switch to a nonalcoholic mouthwash while fulfilling your temporary license restriction period. However, alcohol levels from mouthwash or sprays should start to drop within 15 minutes, and washing your mouth out with water will help it drop faster. We recommend that everyone rinse his or her mouth with water before every test.

If I eat chocolate mints, Altoids, or chew Dentyne or other gum, will my interlock fail?

Alcohol filled chocolates will register a fail; however, the alcohol in the chocolate will begin to decline in three minutes. Other gums and chocolates with no alcohol in them will not create a false positive test.

Will my interlock fail after I eat cinnamon rolls and donuts?

The sugar and the active yeast in some bread products can combine to create a low-level alcohol fail. However, the same steps can be applied that we recommended for mouthwash users. Simply rinse your mouth with water, before the test, to eliminate the remaining food.

What happens if someone else was driving my car and they blew a fail because they had been drinking?

As the defendant, you are informed that you are responsible for all tests recorded on the vehicle’s interlock, whether you were driving at the time or not. All tests are your responsibility.

Will the interlock shut down my engine or stop my car?

The interlock system will not shut down your car if a breath test is not passed. It is designed to prevent the car from starting without a passing breath test. If you record a positive test while driving, the device records a violation but will not stop your car.

Can I start my car if I only had one beer, glass of wine, or one cocktail?

There are many factors that affect how fast someone metabolizes alcohol, including the size and gender of the person, the average person metabolizes one ounce of alcohol per hour. This means that if the average person has a single drink an hour or more before startup, they should pass the test. The important thing to remember is that everyone metabolizes alcohol at different rates. We do not recommend drinking alcohol at all, if you plan on driving.

Can I start my vehicle without taking a test?

No. The point of the interlock is to make sure you have passed a test before you can start your vehicle.

Is there a safe way for me to do the rolling retest?

While it is easy to do a rolling retest while still driving, many people do not feel comfortable doing so. If you are not comfortable taking the rolling retest while driving, find a spot to pull over so you can take the test. The device automatically gives you three minutes to respond, which is more than enough time to find a safe place to pull over and take the test.

What should be done if we only have one car in our family and have multiple drivers?

Driving a car with the interlock system is not restricted to you, but all drivers must be able to make the hum tone and pass the test. It is also important to remember that you are responsible for all readings registered by the interlock, whether you were driving or not.


For more information, to schedule a lecture or to reach Adam Greenman, contact his office at (503) 227-3800.