FAQ

Installation and Repair

Device Operation

Monitor Appointments

Payments

Installation and Repair

Can I install/uninstall the Guardian Interlock device myself?

No. The Guardian Interlock device can only be installed or uninstalled by professionals at an authorized Guardian service center. The device is registered to you while it is installed and synchronized with a nation database in order for monitoring authorities to access progress reports during your monitoring period. Attempts to disconnect or tamper with the device will be logged in the event database and will result in either an alarm, a service recall, or a complete vehicle lockout, depending on the attempt.
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What happens during installation?

Your installation appointment will typically takes about two hours. This time includes not only the device installation and calibration, but also a full training session so that you are completely familiar with the operation of the ignition interlock device. Do not consume any alcohol for 24 hours prior to installation and avoid using any products that contain alcohol such as mouthwash.
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Can the device be installed on a motorcycle?

The Guardian Interlock device can be installed on a motorcycle, however some states do not allow it. Please call your Guardian customer service representative to determine if we can in your state.
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Can the device be installed on older vehicles?

The Guardian Interlock device can typically be installed on any vehicle with a 12-volt electrical system, however, the electrical system must meet certain minimum standards. If, at your installation appointment, the Guardian technician determines that your vehicle does not meet these minimum standards, a second appointment date can be made at no extra charge to allow you the opportunity to address the issues.
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Can a driver under 21 years of age drive a vehicle with an interlock device?

Yes.
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Can the device be installed on a vehicle not registered to me?

If the vehicle is not registered to you, then you must provide a notarized permission letter from the registered owner or the registered owner must be present during installation.
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Can the device be installed on a commercial vehicle?

The Guardian Interlock device can be installed on a commercial vehicle. However, a driver convicted of a DUI may not be able to drive the vehicle, even with the device. Contact a Guardian customer support rep to determine the laws in your state.
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Do I need to do anything special to have my vehicle repaired?

You or your designated mechanic should call the Guardian service center before any major work. If you or your mechanic disconnect the power, the interlock will record this as a potential tampering event. You must have a receipt (either from your mechanic for the word one or for parts if you did the work yourself) at your monitoring appointment to show it was not a tampering event. The mechanic may call the Guardian service center free of charge at any time any questions regarding the interlock device. Typically, minor work such as oil and filter changes or parts replacements do not require consultation as long as the vehicle can be started by the interlock participant or other designated user. When in doubt, please call the Guardian service center.
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Can my vehicle’s battery be disconnected after the device is installed?

While the battery may be disconnected for servicing or replacement, care should be taken to follow proper procedures as the device monitors various vehicle aspects even when it is not powered up. Please call the Guardian service center if an extended battery disconnect period is required or for other charging or replacement issues.
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Will the device drain my battery?

The Guardian interlock device continuously monitors certain aspects your vehicle, even when the ignition is turned off. As with all interlock devices, this requires a very small amount of battery power. With the Guardian device, it takes even less as there is an advanced “sleep” mode to conserve power. If your vehicle is left unattended for an extended period of time or you have an unreliable battery, this may cause a power drain on your battery. Please call the Guardian service center if you do not intend to drive your vehicle for a prolonged period of time.
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Can the device shut off my vehicle?

Once your vehicle is started, the device cannot shut off your vehicle. If, however, you do not successfully pass the rolling retests, your vehicle’s alarm or horn will sound and lights will flash until you turn off the ignition.
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Will the device damage my vehicle in any way?

No. The Guardian Interlock service technicians are professionally trained to properly install, uninstall and service the interlock device. The device and all service performed by our technicians is warranted by Guardian.
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Device Operation

How does the Guardian Interlock device work?

The Guardian Interlock device is a hand-held sensor attached to the electrical system of your car that measures the Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) in your exhale. If this device detects alcohol above a pre-set limit determined by your state, your vehicle will not start. The device will also require that you perform periodic breath tests to ensure that you stay below that pre-set limit in order to continue driving your vehicle.
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Is there a governing authority that sets the standards for device accuracy and reliability?

Yes. All ignition interlock devices are must meet or exceed the standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), as well as any state or local regulations in order to provide services within a jurisdiction. All devices are tested by independent laboratories to ensure that they meet NHTSA’s strict requirements. States have their own standards, some that are more stringent than NHTSA. Guardian meets or exceeds those standards as well.
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Will anyone notice the Guardian Interlock device?

The Guardian interlock device is one of the smallest on the market—similar in size and shape to a cellular phone. Our installation technicians have the ability to put most of the devices in the dash. Our design includes the ability to disconnect the handset and conveniently store it in a safe place.
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What if the device detects alcohol above the preset-limit?

If the device detects alcohol on your breath above the preset-limit, the device will lock down the vehicle for a few minutes. The length of time varies by state and sometimes by county—typically it is between 5 to 30 minutes. Once the mandated time has elapsed, you will be able to attempt the test again. If the device detects alcohol above the pre-set limit again, the device will lock down the vehicle for a longer period of time. It will continue to do this for each subsequent time the system is triggered. Your Guardian service technician can tell you the settings for your local area.
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What if the device detects alcohol above the preset-limit during a rolling retest?

If the device detects alcohol on your breath above the preset-limit during a rolling retest, your vehicle’s alarm or horn will sound and lights will flash until you pull over and turn off the ignition. The device cannot turn off your vehicle’s engine. Once you have turned off your ignition, the device will take you through the same steps as if it had detected alcohol at start-up (see above).
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What if the device detects alcohol but I haven’t been drinking?

The device is designed to detect alcohol and there are other substances that may trigger it. For instance, some mouthwashes, toothpastes, cold medicines and even lip balms contain alcohol and will trigger the device. This is called a false-positive. Be extremely mindful about what you put in or around your mouth before attempting to start your car. Check with your doctor for any prescriptions that might trigger a false-positive. Our service personnel will be able to train you on the most common alcohol-related products.
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Will the device detect anything other than alcohol?

The device is a highly sensitive device that will only detect alcohol. However, there are many substances that contain alcohol and so it will detect all types of alcohol, not just that contained in alcoholic beverages. For instance, do not gargle with Listerine before you start your vehicle as this will undoubtedly register as a false-positive. If your device detects alcohol, consider everything that you have consumed or applied to your face.
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Will I be able to have a glass of wine at dinner?

In most states, the answer is no. This device is preventing you from the possibility of another DUI/DWI. Federal and state laws mandate that your device detect a predetermined level of alcohol. This level is significantly lower than the legal limit on DUI/DWI. Since body types, metabolisms, and appetites are different for all people, we suggest that if you have any alcohol at any point, LET SOMEONE ELSE DRIVE. All events are recorded and if your adjudication indicates that no alcohol can be present on your monitoring reports, the device will detect even the smallest amounts.
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Can other people drive my vehicle?

Your vehicle can be driven by anyone who could drive the vehicle before the device was installed, however, they will be required to pass the same breath tests as you, and any test violations will be registered on your reports to the monitoring authorities. The Guardian service center technicians will train other drivers at no additional charge.
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Can someone else perform the initial test or rolling retests for me while I drive?

The driver of the vehicle must perform both the initial start-up test and the rolling retests. Most states have strict laws, including fines and even jail sentences, for anyone found assisting in the circumvention of an interlock.
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Can I have my device removed legally before the end of my restriction period?

Guardian Interlock will remove the device at your request. However, as this is a legally-governed enforcement program, you will be putting yourself out of compliance which may cause you to lose your driving privileges. To retain your driving privileges, it is imperative that you contact your monitoring authority and receive approval before asking Guardian to remove the device.
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What happens when my restriction period is up?

The reinstatement of your license varies by state and county, we suggest check with the person or agency that restricted your license at first. Our process is simple, on your last monitor appointment be prepared to make an appointment and just come in and we will remove the device and hand you your completion report. At this time we will thank you and wish you good luck and safe driving in the future.
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Will extreme weather affect my device?

The Guardian Interlock device has been engineered to work well in all manner of weather conditions. However, you may see a slightly longer warm-up period during extreme cold. Also, protect your device from long exposure to direct sunlight, especially in hot climates. It also helps to keep your vehicle clean and periodically wipe it down with a damp cloth. Avoid using any alcohol-based cleaners as these can influence the device and produce false-positives. Dirt and debris in your vehicle can also end up in the device and affect its performance. The Guardian Interlock handset is detachable (in most states), so you can bring it inside with you during extreme weather to speed up times and to keep it clean. The device works best when the temperature is 34° – 94° F.
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What if the device fails?

In the unlikely event our device fails, we have a system in place that allows you to contact our store personnel with any question or concern. You can reach us always at our national number, 800-499-0994. This number will automatically route you to your nearest care center or our operator will give you the closest location. Most service related issues can be resolved over the phone, in rare instances that your device has interrupted its service; we will have a new device in your vehicle within 24 hrs.
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Monitor Appointments

What is a monitor appointment?

Once your device is installed, you are required to return to the Guardian service center periodically in order for Guardian to download the event logs from your device and make it available to the monitoring authorities. This appointment is mandated by the state and may be every 30 or 60 days, depending on the state and whether there are any monitoring violations. Your device will display the number of days until the next appointment whenever the device powered up. Make sure that you have scheduled your appointment in time to comply with this requirement. Failure to have your device serviced in time will result in a lockout of the system and will require that your vehicle be towed to the service center.
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How will I know when my appointments are scheduled?

All of our reports to you have the next scheduled time and date listed. Typically the service tech will offer you upcoming monitor appointment times at each appointment. The Guardian Interlock device will also displays a countdown to your next service day. If you need a reminder though, call 800-499-0994 and our technician can retrieve that information for you.
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What if I miss my scheduled appointment?

The system will give you daily reminders of your upcoming appointments and you can have us call you to remind you. However, if you do miss your appointment, the device will put your vehicle in permanent lockout and will then need to be towed to the Guardian service center to have the lockout reset.
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Do I need an appointment to get my device serviced?

Appointments are tightly scheduled ahead of time to ensure that we assist each customer as quickly and as efficiently as possible. It may be possible for a Guardian service technician to help you without an appointment, however, his or her priority will be those customers who have previously scheduled appointments. To ensure the fastest service, call the Guardian service center to schedule an appointment before you come.
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What information is captured and given to the State?

From the moment the device is installed in your vehicle until it is removed, the onboard database will capture a series of compliance events. These events include:

  • Breath Alcohol Content (BAC) level detected
  • The time the vehicle’s engine was started and stopped
  • The vehicle’s run-time
  • Key events, such as the timing and results of rolling retests
  • Any time it was plugged in or unplugged

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How are compliance events transmitted to the State?

All of your compliance event information including installation, monitoring, and removal reports is stored on a secure, centralized database that is updated each time you bring your vehicle in for a service appointment. Monitoring authorities have 24/7 access to this information.
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How does the state track my device?

We store all our data–including installation, monitoring, and removal reports–in a central data base.  You will have a copy of all service records. Most states also require that we supply this information to them on a regular basis. Your interactions with the ignition interlock device are all logged, and the law requires that we report all violations to the agency that suspended your license.
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Who takes care of the state paperwork?

We do! All Guardian Interlock service centers send the appropriate documentation to the monitoring authorities. Notification of both your installation and completion of the program are taken care of as part of our service to you.
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What do I do when my driving restrictions ends?

Terms of license reinstatement vary by state and by county, so it is wise to check with the agency responsible for your DUI conviction. We monitor your progress for the duration of your probationary period, then make a final appointment to remove the device and hand you your completion report.  Your car then reverts to its original ignition system and we wish you a safe driving future.
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Payments

How much does the Guardian Interlock device cost?

We realize that a DUI/DWI can be extremely expensive, that is why we have made an effort to control costs limit the amount you will pay. The cost is on average 2 dollars per day.
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Can I make payments over the phone?

Typically you can, however, the preference is that you pay at the service center at the time of your installation or monitoring appointment.
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Can I make payments online?

Not at this time.
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How do I sign up?

Just call 800-499-0994 and you will automatically be connected with our national call center, serving English- and Spanish-speaking customers. They will set up an appointment, usually within 24 hours, and take your information. If you are out of our area the 800 number will connect you to our operator. We will then get you the information to the nearest location.

When you arrive for your appointment please bring all pertinent information such as restriction requirements, court documents, and or Motor vehicle requirements. Remember, if you don’t have you license reinstated, you will not be able to drive your car out of our shop. If need be, bring someone with you.
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