Across the country, the use of ignition interlock devices has increased over the last several years. These devices may be presented as one element of the overall set of penalties for a person convicted of a driving under the influence offense.

At the same time, an IID may represent the one way that a person may reinstate their driving privileges sooner after a DUI arrest. Maintaining the ability to drive may well be essential in allowing some people to keep their jobs and provide for their families.

People arrested for DUI crimes should learn the nuances of how IIDs work and the potential risk they may create.

Basic operation and use of an IID

Intoxalock, one provider of ignition interlock devices, indicates that these products connect to a vehicle’s ignition and keep it locked until a driver passes a breath test via a handheld breath sample unit. Only then may the vehicle be started and driven.

What many people do not know is that a person must provide additional breath samples after the vehicle ignition has been started. The IID provides an alert to the driver at random intervals. The driver then has only a few minutes to complete the test which requires them to hold the breath unit, read the screen and concentrate on all steps.

IIDs and distracted driving

As explained by Car and Driver magazine, the combined visual, manual and cognitive distractions created by the participation in rolling retests can be dangerous. In fact, many vehicle crashes have been attributed to a person needing to take one of these tests while driving.