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What do you do if you get Locked Out of Your Ignition Interlock?

Getting an ignition interlock violation is very scary. When you are arrested for a DWI, or if you have been put on probation, community supervision or deferred adjudication for an intoxication offense you might have to get an ignition interlock device installed. These sensitive machines sometimes register false positives. You need to be careful and make sure you follow all of the rules when using your ignition interlock device.

Many people who have interlock devices installed in their vehicles experience an ignition interlock violation. An ignition interlock violation can result in a warrant being issued for your arrest. If you are on probation, pre-trial release, or deferred for a DWI type crime, chances are you have an interlock device installed in your car or will have one installed in the near future. What happens if you blow dirty (register a violation) and get locked out of your device? This guide will help you out.

What is the Interlock Device?

Once an Interlock Device is a device that is installed in a vehicle it requires the driver to submit a breath sample prior to starting the vehicle. These devices also require the driver to submit samples while driving. Many people make the mistake of blowing into the interlock device after drinking because they believe they are sober.  Contrary to popular belief these devices do not determine whether or not you are above the legal limit. Instead, they test whether or not there is any alcohol in your system.

What Happens when the Interlock Device Locks You Out?

When the interlock device detects alcohol it will not allow you to start your vehicle. It will require you to wait a certain amount of time (usually 15 minutes) Once you calibrate your device any violations will be reported to your Pre-Trial Services Officer or to your Probation Officer. At that point, the Pre-Trial Services Officer or Probation Officer will write a report which will be submitted to the judge. The judge can then, issue a warrant or adjust your conditions of probation or bond.

How Can A Lawyer Help?

Hiring the right lawyer after you’ve registered an ignition interlock violation can keep you out of jail. DO NOT GET ADVICE FROM YOUR PROBATION OFFICER OR PRE-TRIAL SERVICES OFFICER. These people are not your friends. They will tell you not to worry about it and then arrest you when you show up at their offices. A lawyer, on the other hand can:

  1. Talk to the judge before a warrant is issued
  2. Get a bond set for you so that you are not remanded without bond
  3. Walk you through the satellite bond office so you don’t have to go to the Bexar County Jail,

If you have had a violation of your interlock it is a good idea to hire a lawyer right away. First, the attorney can get ahead of the problem and manage the potential consequences. If a warrant is issued an attorney can help you by walking you through the basement of the courthouse. If the judge is going to adjust your conditions of bond (usually to include SCRAM or additional breath tests or a switch to a mobile device) the attorney can talk to the judge and explain why the violation occurred and why certain conditions should not be imposed. Avoiding a warrant and lessening consequences are good reasons to hire a lawyer as soon as you are aware of a potential violation.

These are big benefits and we will do it on a payment plan.


Interlock violations are potentially serious and can result in a judge issuing a warrant for your arrest. If you have had an interlock violation It is a good idea to hire a lawyer so that you can possibly avoid having a warrant issued for your arrest.

For more information on Interlock violations, a free strategy session is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (210) 361-3113 today.