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  1. #1
    bhak1 is offline Junior Member
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    Jul 2010
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    Ignition Interlock Draining Battery

    Hi, I'm looking for help regarding an ignition interlock. I live in Maryland and got a DUI back in October 2009. I was informed that the MVA was giving me the choice of either having my license suspended for 3 months or taking an Ignition Interlock for a year. At the time I was under the impression that as long as I didn't drink and drive I would have no problems with the interlock and opted for that choice after my MVA hearing in February 2010. For the first few months I had no problems and then in early April my battery died and I was informed that that would be considered a violation of the program unless I sent in a receipt showing a reason for the power-outage. My interlock provider suggested that I get a new battery. I did that and sent in the receipt and the MVA cleared it. Well, on June 1 my battery died again. This time I took it to a mechanic that "fixed" the problem, once again I sent in my receipt and the MVA passed it. Well last week I had more problems with my interlock it seemed to be itself malfunctioning and I took it to the service provider who insisted that there is nothing wrong with the device so I took it to another mechanic that replaced the terminals, checked the battery and alternator, and did a parasitic draw test. He is a mechanic my family has gone to for years and he assured me that if there were any further problems it would have to be with the interlock itself. I sent my receipt in a few days ago and am still waiting to hear from the MVA but tonight it happened once again and I don't know what to do anymore.

    My lawyer has basically told me that he can't do very much unless the MVA actually suspend my license at which point he can get them to allow me to continue in the interlock program, but as far as I can tell my vehicle (which is 14 years old) can simply not handle the extra draw of the interlock and I don't know what to do. I have completely quit drinking but I still am living a nightmare. Does anyone know if there is anything I can do about this short of losing my license for three months? I'm desperate for help. I know I did a horrible thing by drinking and driving and I've done all I can to repay my debt and live life as good person, but this program is threatening to destroy my life. I work 30 hours a week and am a fulltime college student. I recently entered a relationship that is very important to me, but my girlfriend lives very far away and I'm so scared of losing her. I know none of these things are excuses for me to not be punished for my crime but I am begging for anyone with experience in this area to help me. Thank and God bless you.
  2. #2
    aldaron is offline Member
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    Is the car sitting long in between starts? The interlock when sitting isnt much of a draw so the problem lies in your cars electrical system. Since your batt is new and terminals have been thoroughly cleaned the alt is where i'd be looking next and the ground going to the body from the batt. Until this problem gets resolved you can hook an automatic battery charger up to the car while its not driven.
  3. #3
    InsaneJane is offline Member
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    Do a google search for car alarm backup battery.
  4. #4
    bhak1 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldaron View Post
    Is the car sitting long in between starts? The interlock when sitting isnt much of a draw so the problem lies in your cars electrical system. Since your batt is new and terminals have been thoroughly cleaned the alt is where i'd be looking next and the ground going to the body from the batt. Until this problem gets resolved you can hook an automatic battery charger up to the car while its not driven.
    So far it is starting to seem like right around once it has sat for 8-9 hours is when it starts having a problems. Basically what it has started doing over the last week has been explained to me as being that while the device has enough power to turn on, the "pump" inside of it does not so it is aborting and the service light is flashing to. Interlock is insisting that it is my battery and my mechanic and almost everyone else I've spoken to have said that the device itself may faulty and that I should just have a new one installed. I'm actually planning to let it sit for about 11 or 12 hours tonight to see what happens and then possibly taking it to both interlock and to get a new battery tomorrow. The fishy thing to me is that as I have had dead batteries I know how the device behaves when the battery is very weak and while after charging the battery I have experienced problems with getting things like lights, radio, and ignition to work, I never had problems with the the actual interlock... and these recent "low power" aborts are quite the opposite, everything else in the car is on and working well, but the pump isn't working.

    As far as the alternator is considered, both mechanics, the second being a man I would trust with my life, have assured me that it is working perfectly well. I assume there must have been someone who has been in this situation before, I'm just wondering what the MVA does if no solution can be found and a mechanic is confirming that. I mean they're jerks, but they can't be so big of jerks that they would screw someone over who isn't drinking and is only having problems due to an electrical problem with their vehicle... I mean everyone knows that electrical problems can be endless and defy all logic.
  5. #5
    Ketazi is offline Junior Member
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    Can you get another car?
  6. #6
    bhak1 is offline Junior Member
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    Another car? Not really... I have about $400 to my name that I need to pay for insurance at the end of the month... I'm a broke college student and it's looking like i might be ending up even more broke if I have to give up my license and am not able to work let alone get to school.

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