The dangers of ignition interlock devices

| Aug 25, 2020 | Drunk Driving |

Individuals facing operating under the influence charges might worry about the penalties they face and how a conviction can affect their future. In Massachusetts, courts order the installation and monitoring of an ignition interlock device for all multiple OUI offenders.

Understanding how an ignition interlock works will increase operator’s awareness of the dangers associated with the equipment.

What is an ignition interlock device?

Required installation of an IID is common following an OUI offense. This device prevents the user from starting his or her vehicle unless he or she takes a breath alcohol test through the handheld car breathalyzer. If the results are over the BAC preset, then the vehicle will not start.

The interlock device provider receives failed breathalyzer reports which may lead to further legal repercussions for the driver.

What are the dangers of this device?

The driver must randomly retest using the IID during the course of his or her trip. To do so, the motorist must take a hand off the wheel to grab the device and blow into it. These actions take the driver’s attention off the road. If the driver ignores taking the retest, the vehicle will flash its headlights and honk its horn, causing further distraction.

A New York Times review found drivers taking the IID retest who endured serious injuries. For example, individuals almost lost a hand when hitting a telephone pole, blacked out and crashed while blowing into the mouthpiece and killed someone after dropping and reaching down for the device.

Overall, penalties for drunk driving and OUI convictions can have very serious effects on people’s futures.