Ignition Interlock Eligibility
A fully refundable $300.00 deposit is necessary for clients who live out-of-state (if you live in-state, the deposit is normally not necessary). Also, Monitech cannot guarantee service calls outside of North Carolina, although certain warranty service may be performed in areas of close proximity to your local service center. Of course all monitoring appointments must occur in one of our 29 service centers located throughout the State. If you are out-of-state and the unit enters permanent lock-out, or is otherwise inoperable, you should contact the 24/7 toll free number at (800) 521-4246 for consultation. Monitech technicians are available to advise you or any ASE certified mechanic in solving your vehicle difficulties.
Yes, clients enroll voluntarily to mitigate child custody disputes, to ensure safe driving habits for inexperienced drivers, to help family members under temporary difficulties, or to provide other non-judicial safeguards. Interlocks provided to voluntary participants perform within the same stringent DMV certified standards, but may at times be modified to allow a lower frequency of retesting or other minor mechanical functions after careful consultation. Inspection, data download, and calibration must still occur at a Monitech service center every sixty days. Results of the Monitech data download are normally provided only to the user. However, in child custody cases, the voluntary user is often required to designate other recipients (spouse’s attorney, etc.) to meet court-ordered obligations. Parents of dependent children may also receive the interlock test results.
No, tampering or any attempted circumvention of the ignition interlock device is a violation of the North Carolina Ignition Interlock Program and may result in loss of your driving privileges and result in actual charges to replace or repair the interlock. The interlock participant may designate other individuals to operate the interlock vehicle, but in so doing, the interlock participant accepts any and all responsibility for interlock damages and/or program violations. The State treats all interlock violations as those of the interlock participant, regardless of who was driving the interlock vehicle. The interlock participant should utilize extreme caution in allowing someone else to operate the interlock vehicle.
It is important for you and/or the designated mechanic to call the toll free number at 1-800-521-4246 prior to any invasive mechanical work on your vehicle. Minor work such as oil and filter changes or parts replacements do not necessarily require consultation as long as the vehicle can be started by the interlock participant or other designated user. When in doubt, please call the toll free number. There is no charge to you or the designated garage representative for consultation with a Monitech representative.
No, currently, North Carolina law prevents anyone under 21 years of age from participating in the Ignition Interlock Program. However, the North Carolina General Assembly may change this aspect of interlock law. You should always rely on DMV, the Court, and/or your attorney to determine eligibility.
No, because of enforcement principles inherent in the Interlock Program, the State does not allow the ignition interlock to be installed on a motorcycle or other open cab/open frame vehicle.
The interlock cannot be installed on any vehicle requiring the driver to maintain a CDL driver’s license. However, other local service vehicles used in day to day business calls may be allowed.
Under most circumstances, the ignition interlock can be installed on any vehicle that operates with a 12-volt electrical system. However, since the ignition interlock monitors a number of vehicle functions, especially the alternator and charging system, the electrical system must meet certain minimal standards. At your installation appointment, the Monitech technician will first determine if your vehicle has service difficulties. If the vehicle does not meet minimal standards, the difficulties will be pointed out to you and a second appointment date will be established at no extra charge.
Yes. The same service requirements will apply.
If the vehicle is not registered in your name, it is necessary to provide a notarized Permission Letter from the owner. This letter is available for printout on our website under the Resources section. If the owner of the vehicle will be present at the time of installation, he or she may sign the permission letter at that time (without the need for notarization).
The Monitech Product
The ignition interlock interrupts the signal from the ignition to the starter until a valid breath sample is provided that meets minimal alcohol guidelines. At that point, the ignition circuit is automatically “closed” and the vehicle starter can be initiated from the ignition switch or “button.” Established regimen for the standing test (first start-up and each time the vehicle is turned off during the day) also includes a “learned” timing, coordination, and dexterity test. Random “running” retests are required, but do not include the “learned” test sequence.
WARN and FAIL levels are established by the respective adjudication agency and range from less than 0.01% BAC to 0.04% BAC and above. Another important BAC level is the 0.08% BAC (and above), which generates an automatic recall to the Monitech service center within 72 hours. You should carefully review your individual agency requirements with the Monitech technician at the time of installation and understand the serious ramifications of most BAC readings. These ramifications range from inability to start the vehicle to loss of driving privilege.
The “rolling retest” is a misnomer for the more appropriate designation of “random running retest.” To start the interlock vehicle, a “standing” test (with the vehicle turned off) requiring both a valid breath sample and dexterity test must be performed prior to turning the key or pressing the start button. Randomly thereafter, the interlock will signal the need for a “running retest” that requires ONLY the provision of a breath sample. The vehicle need not be “rolling,” as it is the option of the driver to determine if it is safe to provide the breath sample while the vehicle is underway (rolling). The driver may opt to stop the vehicle temporarily in a safe location and simply provide the breath sample without performing the dexterity test—so long as the vehicle is not turned off. In North Carolina, the driver is required to fully stop the vehicle and turn it off every hour of continuous driving (standing retest). After turning the vehicle off, the user must perform both the breath sample and dexterity test before startup.
The interlock program participant is responsible for any BAC violation level of alcohol detected by the ignition interlock and should be especially cautious when allowing another person to use the interlock vehicle. Any person using the interlock vehicle should be carefully re-trained and observed by the interlock participant each time prior to vehicle use. As a convenience to the interlock participant, the interlock vehicle may be driven to a service appointment by another person who has been carefully trained. If violations are discovered during the monitoring appointment, however, the interlock participant is required to return to the service center within 72 hours. This requirement is necessary in order for the interlock participant to respond to the violation report prior to delivery of the report to the adjudicating agency.
The ignition interlock resembles a CD radio in size and shape and ordinarily is similarly installed into the automotive interior environment.
This decision is made in consultation with you upon arrival at the service center, although the final decision must rest with the technician to guarantee the utmost safety and security. Under normal circumstances, the ignition interlock will be installed at the dash or console.
The interlock interrupts the ignition signal to the starter motor before startup and, as such, cannot turn the vehicle off—but only prevent the vehicle from starting—even if malfunctioning. If a random running retest is failed, the ignition interlock will sound an alarm and allow the driver time to find a safe place to pull over and turn the vehicle off. The device then requires the driver to perform a standing retest, and if passed, will allow the vehicle to resume operation. If the BAC fail is excessive, the driver will be required to bring the vehicle back to a Monitech service center within 72 hours.
The ignition interlock monitors a number of important mechanical and electrical functions of the installed vehicle, but once properly installed cannot cause vehicle damage. Proper installation is confirmed both mechanically and technically prior to vehicle departure, and under normal circumstances, any difficulties would be revealed immediately after startup. The ignition interlock device (and all work by our service technicians) is warranted by Monitech. Customers are encouraged to discuss service concerns regarding the interlock installation with their service technician, but please understand certain information cannot be revealed because of security precautions within the interlock enforcement procedures.
The battery can be disconnected for normal replacement or servicing of the vehicle by a mechanic. Follow all appropriate procedures and special precautions should be taken not to arc the cables at the battery terminals. Because the ignition interlock monitors certain vehicle aspects even when off, the battery should not be disconnected more than necessary. Please consult with a Monitech service operator or your local technician prior to extended disconnect or for any questions regarding battery change or charging.
The ignition interlock monitors the vehicle, even when it is turned off, and requires a very small amount of battery power for this continuous exercise. Therefore it is necessary for the vehicle to be utilized periodically. If the vehicle is to be left for an extended period of time, it is imperative that a service operator or technician be consulted for advice at (800) 521-4246. Extended periods of idleness may cause excessive battery drain.
Yes, if you have a medically confirmed diminished lung capacity that prevents you from normal air exhalation, you should contact the Medical Section of the NC Division of Motor Vehicles in Raleigh to determine if you qualify for special medical dispensation. DMV will require measurement and confirmation of your breathing disability from two independent doctors. DMV will then notify Monitech of the breath pressure setting specific to your medical condition.
Yes, in most cases, if a person can operate a motor vehicle, then they can qualify for use of an ignition interlock device. If you have suffered loss of limb or paralysis, it may be necessary to consult with a DMV hearing officer and/or the Medical Section at DMV in Raleigh. When necessary and appropriate, DMV will order that you be relieved of certain physical elements of the interlock test procedure. Please contact your local hearing officer or the North Carolina DMV’s Medical Section for more information.
The QT unit is the latest model of the ignition interlock. However it has the most stringent requirements and limited availability in certain areas. The LJ-1 device utilizes the same alcohol sensing technology, but is less invasive of the vehicle.
Monitech interlock devices exceed all of the standards established by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. However, the automobile environment can be particularly harsh, and over time, the average automobile interior will experience significant ambient air contaminants and extreme temperature changes. The most noticeable result is a slight delay in “test ready” under extreme cold conditions. The interlock user should maintain a relatively clean vehicle interior and periodically wipe the device with a damp, soft cloth. Please do not use cleaning agents and most certainly do not expose the device to alcohol or other ethanol derivatives. Avoid extended exposure to direct sunlight.
As a matter of course, Monitech has not experienced any incidents of warranty invalidation. However, you should contact your dealer or vehicle manufacturer for warranty information if you have concerns. Please do not hesitate to refer the dealer or manufacturer’s rep to Monitech for complete information regarding the interlock installation, ongoing maintenance, and removal.
Any substance with alcohol or ethanol derivatives will be recognized and recorded by the ignition interlock. Such substances can cause BAC FAILS and WARNS and result in serious consequences for the interlock program participant, especially if the user is a conditionally restored driver. It is imperative that the interlock user refrain from contaminating the mouth cavity with any foodstuffs or beverages prior to testing. All medications should be carefully reviewed. Consult the User Manual and installation technician for more information.
Some ignition interlock participants have restricted drive times. If your conditional restoration or driving privilege does not include these restrictions, then you may ignore this information. If you are restricted to certain drive times, it is imperative that you carefully abide by these specific times as required by the adjudicating agency or court.
The ignition interlock device may collect information on hundreds of events on an hourly basis, including interlock “power up” and “power down,” vehicle start and off times, mechanical and electrical operations, and many other “calendar events,” as well alcohol test results. The sum total provides an indication of vehicle use and necessary firmware capacities. Under normal circumstances and vehicle use, it has no impact on program participation.
The ignition interlock participant should NEVER introduce or allow someone else to introduce a breath sample with the possibility of alcohol. All test results are recorded internally and cannot be erased. At the monitoring or service appointment, data download and reporting to the adjudicating agency occur automatically without input from the interlock technician. BAC findings may result in loss of the driving privilege.
The ultimate end date must be determined by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Your interlock service time may not begin until all schools, counseling, and assessments have occurred, as well as fees paid, and all local court findings officially transferred to DMV. For that reason, if there is any doubt, the interlock participant should confirm with the NC Division of Motor Vehicles Help Line at (919) 715-7000 that your interlock program service has officially begun.
Monitech cannot provide legal advice regarding the driving license qualifications or interlock service period by DMV. However, if DMV has provided a temporary license as an official license and you and/or your attorney have determined you no longer need the ignition interlock, then you may choose to have the device removed. Either way, Monitech is required to remove the device if you ask that it be removed (and then a de-installation report is generated and automatically forwarded to DMV). If there is any doubt, then Monitech strongly recommends that you wait until the permanent license is received in the mail. The permanent license will clearly state on the reverse side whether the interlock is still required or not (if interlock is not mentioned).
Understandably, if your current monitoring period is almost up, you would want to remove the device immediately to avoid any further lease fees. In that case, please confirm your period is complete by calling the DMV Help Line at (919) 715-7000. To set up an appointment for removal, please call toll free at (800) 521-4246.
If your conditional restoration has been cancelled by DMV, you will no longer receive credit with DMV for additional time served on the program. We should note that you are not eligible to drive during this time. You should contact Monitech to discuss options.
Monitech is prohibited by law from providing any legal advice regarding BAC WARNS, FAILURES, or other program violations. However, anytime a violation is to be reported, Monitech can provide the interlock client with a violation report (or non-compliance report) and a “Client Response Form” for you to complete and include with the Monitech violation packet. The client should retain copies of all of these documents in preparation for consultation with legal counsel and possible preparation for a DMV hearing or other legal proceeding.
The corporate lease agreement with the interlock customer specifically prohibits such actions by the local service technician. The customer should contact Monitech Corporate at the toll free number and explain any difficulty or concern. The operator will solicit specific information and refer the difficulty to a manager if necessary.
Aside from additional traffic offenses, interlock participant’s driving privileges can be revoked for evidence of alcohol use (fails and even a series of warns), tampering or circumvention, and possibly failure to appear for required appointments. Still, none of the above should be considered a legal imperative regarding any specific case. Because of the gravity of losing the driving privilege, one should always consult with an attorney or at least contact DMV for feedback and answers or advice regarding exact causes for license revocations.
As your service provider, we will remove the ignition interlock from your vehicle at your request. However, this is an enforcement program, so any premature removal of the device is likely to cause you to lose your driving privileges. Unless you are resigned to the probable consequences, it is imperative that you contact DMV and/or your attorney before requesting the ignition interlock be removed. If Monitech can assist in addressing continuing concerns or unanswered questions, please call the Customer Service Center and explain your situation.
The interlock service period is not normally extended beyond the original program period established for the various offender categories (one, three, or seven years, etc.). However, the interlock period start date may not begin until all other conditions of the court or conditional restoration are met. The interlock participant must take care to pay all court fees and fines, as well as fulfill assessment, counseling, and any other conditions established by the court (or your conditional restoration) prior to or certainly in close proximity to beginning your interlock service period.
Your lease period may be extended by you personally if your program period is officially over and you wish to transition to a voluntary status.
The lease payments are due every 60 days and can usually be paid at each monitoring appointment. The signed lease agreement will provide the lease payment date. Under extenuating circumstances, payment can be made at a later date (late fees will apply), but the program participant must still come into Monitech for his or her regular monitoring appointment.
Monitech accepts cash (only in denominations of $1.00 or larger and the correct change), Visa, MasterCard, money orders, and personal checks. If a personal check is returned for insufficient funds, there is a service charge of $35.00, and personal checks can no longer be accepted.
Yes, payments by credit card may be made over the telephone. This sometimes occurs when someone other than the interlock participant is making the payment. However, payment by telephone does not eliminate the absolute necessity of delivering the vehicle to the selected service center for the regular monitoring appointment. Under special circumstances, the monitor may occur at the location of the interlock vehicle for an additional charge. This may not occur in sequence (two monitoring appointments in a row), and the vehicle may still be required to come into the service center.
Yes, even under financial difficulty, you should always bring your vehicle in for your regularly scheduled monitoring appointment. Although additional fees may apply, Monitech can under such circumstances delay payment for up to two weeks. Also, payment may be made remotely by someone other than the interlock participant (See Item 41). Please remember FAILURE TO APPEAR for an interlock appointment may cause loss of the driving privilege.
Monitech understands that financial difficulties cannot always be avoided and the driving privilege is often paramount in regaining financial stability. Although additional fees may apply, varying payment structures may be established under certain extenuating circumstances. These payment options are posted in our service centers.
For inquiries related to payments and balances, please call Monitech’s Credit and Collection’s Office at 1-800-521-4246.
The installation fee and first two months’ lease fee are not refundable after installation. However, the lease fees may be applied if the interlock device is reinstalled within 45 days. Under this circumstance, it is imperative that you confirm eligibility for the ignition interlock prior to installation and payment of any fees. The potential interlock user may also opt to request a short demonstration of the interlock testing sequence prior to installation and payment of any fees to affirm the ability and desire to use the interlock. Again, it is imperative that you verify with North Carolina DMV, prior to installation, that you are eligible to receive interlock program service credit for use of the device in your vehicle.
215 Southport Drive, Suite 400
Morrisville, NC 27560
No, Monitech technicians are not allowed to make any financial adjustments or other changes to the contract. To discuss balances or ask any questions regarding the contract, please contact the Monitech Credit and Collections Office at 1-800-521-4246.
All documentation is provided to the client at installation and monitoring appointments. It is imperative that you always retain these documents during your time in the program. In some instances, such as non-compliance hearings, additional documentation may be needed. Please contact 1-800-521-4246 for copies of documents if necessary. Nominal charges may apply.
Working with Monitech
Yes. Local Monitech technicians are prohibited from scheduling appointments in the local service center because of program enforcement procedures and to avoid scheduling conflicts. Please call 1-800-521-4246 to schedule all appointments, even for the most minor need.
No, all appointments and customer inquiries must go through our Customer Call Center for security and efficiency and to ensure the very best quality in the timeliest manner for you. Typically, our technicians are working one-on-one with our customers and unavailable to take phone calls.
Monitech service centers are conveniently located throughout the State. Please go to Installation Centers for directions and addresses to all of our service center locations. It is important that you study these directions and allow extra time to find any service center location, as fees may apply if you are late for an appointment. Unfortunately, charging this fee is required to maintain the integrity of the technician’s schedule for other clients.
All service center schedules are prepared in advance to ensure the most efficient use of time and personnel. A phone call to the Corporate Call Center can set up an appointment time that corresponds with your need and the ongoing schedule in the local service center. If you go to a service center unexpectedly and without an appointment, the technician will try to assist you.However, he is understandably required to give top priority to scheduled appointments. There may be an extended waiting period before being seen and there is the very real possibility of being rescheduled for later that day or the next.
Please reserve two hours for your ignition interlock installation. Varying vehicle types may require more or less time, almost always depending upon the vehicle’s electrical system and ease of access for making the necessary connections.
Of course many other things besides the actual install must take place during the installation appointment. The technician will inspect your vehicle, identify probable interlock location and connector points, configure the device to conform to specific adjudication requirements, and train you in the use of the interlock. The technician will carefully explain the device and functions and complete all necessary paperwork with you—which includes the lease agreement between you and Monitech. You should take this opportunity also to ask any and all questions you have about your interlock and the rules of the program.
You are required by North Carolina DMV to have your device inspected and monitored every 60 days. Failure to have the device inspected will result in lock-out, is a violation of the NC Ignition Interlock Program, and may cause loss of the driving privilege.
If your service light comes on outside your service date window, please make arrangements for a service appointment immediately. As a matter of procedure and insurance regulations, leaving a vehicle is strongly discouraged. If you choose to leave your vehicle unattended at a Monitech service centers, please note that Monitech does not accept responsibility for any property or vehicle damage, theft, or loss.
Under normal circumstances, you should never disconnect the ignition interlock’s sample head from your vehicle. However, it is conceivable that certain extenuating circumstances (unsafe parking environment) might require careful removal. Please discuss such removals with your local service technician and receive complete instructions on removal and replacement.
Please call the Customer Care Call Center at 1-800-521-4246 to determine your options and/or to reschedule as soon as you are aware of any possibility of missing your appointment. A customer care specialist can reschedule you for an earlier appointment, change you to another service center, extend your appointment by two days, or make other special arrangements to help avoid inconvenience to you (and still abide by the enforcement requirements of the interlock program—and avoid permanent lockout). The interlock will go into permanent lockout 72 hours after a missed appointment.
If your device is stolen, notify law enforcement immediately, and contact Monitech at 1-800-521-4246. It is important to note that the ignition interlock participant is responsible for any loss or damage to the unit.
Such incidents are handled on a case-by-case basis. Please call 1-800-521-4246 for specific instructions regarding your particular situation.
All information collected by Monitech is the property of the North Carolina DMV. A copy is retained by Monitech, and a copy is provided to DMV. It is important that you also retain in a safe spot a copy of all documentation collected through the program.
Please contact DMV to make sure you have received sufficient program credit, and then contact Monitech to schedule the device removal. To avoid premature removal and unnecessary expense later, we strongly suggest you have in your possession an unrestricted driver’s license before removing the ignition interlock.
Monitech handles such cases regularly. Normally the offender provides Monitech with the proper adjudicating agency, contact name, and the telephone number in the state of conviction. With this information, and the proposed interlock user’s personal information, Monitech will call and confirm any necessary certification and/or reporting procedures. Once installed, all required information is forwarded to the proper authorities.
If you are interested in using a Monitech device in another state, please collect the above information and contact Monitech toll free at (800) 521-4246. Our team can expedite the necessary paperwork if needed.