An Ignition Interlock user contacted me tonight after experiencing failed startups with his ignition interlock device. He drinks Heineken non-alcoholic beer. It has an alcohol content of 0.00. Unfortunately, he purchased what he thought was non-alcoholic beer, but he really bought a 15 pack of Heineken, which contained 12 cans of Heineken which contained alcohol and 3 cans of Heineken 0.00, which does not contain alcohol.
The packaging is confusing and it is easy to see how someone could make a mistake and buy beer containing alcohol when they reasonably believed that they were purchasing non-alcoholic beer.
Unknowingly consuming alcohol can have major consequences for someone who is required to use an ignition interlock device. The Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles takes a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to the interlock device and, lately, the Registry has been imposing 10-year license revocations for initial start failures, such as the failed startups which this client experienced earlier tonight.
Having an interlock device is kind of like walking on a tightrope. The slightest misstep can have major consequences. This client is in jeopardy of having to defend himself and his license because of an honest mistake and this is just one of many examples.
If you have the IID restriction on your license, you must be extremely careful to not consume any alcohol whatsoever prior to trying to start your vehicle. You must also be cautious to avoid readings caused by food, mouthwash, toothpaste, mints, breath sprays, perfume, cologne, flavored coffee, cough medicines, and many other substances that have registered as ethanol.
You can protect yourself by documenting everything, promptly contacting your service provider when there is an issue, getting a comparison breath test from the police, contesting lockouts and false readings within thirty (30) days with the RMV Interlock Department, and retaining skilled and experienced legal counsel if you have been accused of an ignition interlock violation or you have a 10-year interlock-related license revocation.