common tn ignition interlock mistakes

The 6 Common Mistakes New Interlock Clients Make

Getting an ignition interlock device installed can be daunting and confusing. Smart Start of TN wants to provide you the best information to complete your TN Department of Safety Interlock Program successfully. We’ve made a list of 6 common mistakes that delay or extend your program. Read our Keys to Success for this information and more to complete your TN Ignition Interlock Program without violation.

1) Fill out Forms Completely

We want to get you installed and back on the road as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, many delays in getting your ignition interlock installed are due to incomplete paperwork. 

Double and triple check you have the accurate TN Drivers License number on all your paperwork. Smart Start of TN has to give this number to the TN D.O.S. for your reports to be accurate. 

All of the forms provided by Smart Start of TN give you complete guidelines to filling them out. Find all the forms you need HERE.

2) Multiple Offenders

If you are a multiple DUI offender, you have to reinstate your license twice! After your initial 365, your license is automatically revoked and you have to go back to the DMV to pay your reinstatement fee. This will allow you to finish your program for the duration specified by the judge. You will not be getting credit for the interlock after 365 days if you do not do this step.

3) No Restricted License--No Interlock Credit

So many people do everything right except one VERY important step. They get their ORDL, they get their SR-22 Insurance, they get the interlock installed. But they never go and get their Restricted License at the TN DMV after installing the interlock. Your ORDL is not your license. You must go back to the DMV with proof you’ve installed your ignition interlock and get your restricted license. If you don’t, you are not getting credit for the interlock program. 

4) Removing Starts You Over

Many people think if they remove and reinstall they can pick up where they left off in the program. This is NOT the case. The Ignition Interlock Law states you must have the interlock on for 365 CONSECUTIVE days if convicted after July 1, 2016. You must do so without violation in your last 120 days of the program.

To remove in compliance, you will have a Final Download at your service center after completing your program duration requirement. Then the TN Department of Safety will do a compliance review. Once you get your Compliance Certificate from TN D.O.S., that is when you can remove the device and get your regular license back. 

5) Always Retest

Always retest, especially if you blow a low amount of alcohol. The interlock device is very sensitive and will pick up any consumed alcohol. You have 10 minutes to retest. Drink water and rinse your mouth out thoroughly before your retest. DO NOT DRINK any amount of alcohol and try to blow into the interlock device, even alcohol from the night before can show up. The device is calibrated at .02 BrAC to violate due to alcohol. It doesn’t take much to cause a violation. If you never blow a pass after a fail, you will be violated. If that violation occurs in your final 120 days, you will be extended in the TN Interlock Program. Check out our Keys To Success for more information on violations and how to avoid them.

6) Test in Front of Camera

The camera is your friend! We know you want to hide from other people when you are using your breathalyzer. That’s why Smart Start designed their interlock device to be discreet (the size of a cell phone) with a forward facing mouthpiece. This allows your hand to cover the device head while using it. If you lean out of view of the camera and have violations on your log files, we can’t compare your picture to the violations. You will be automatically extended if there is no picture and the violation occurs in your last 120 days of your program.

We have many resources available to help you complete your TN Ignition Interlock Program successfully. Visit our RESOURCES page for more information about Smart Start ignition interlock devices.

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