Over the past couple of decades, every state in the country has rolled out laws requiring the use of ignition interlock devices in select cases involving allegedly impaired drivers. Some states require drivers to install and use IIDs after a first driving under the influence charge while others require the use of these devices after second or other offenses. Touted as a way to prevent future DUI events, it seems these devices may simultaneously increase distracted driving events.
The New York Times provided a report detailing multiple crashes that occurred because of a driver’s required participation in what are known as rolling retests. In one case, a driver crossed the center line, resulting in a crash that killed one person and injured another. These rolling retests require a driver to manually hold the breath test unit, taking their hands off the steering wheel. The driver must also read the display on the unit, taking their eyes off the road. Finally, drivers must pay attention to the instructions which distracts them mentally.
Distracted driving is known to be most dangerous when it combines manual, visual and cognitive distractions. The rolling retests required with an IID are an ideal example of this type of danger and they are prompted at random times, making it impossible for drivers to plan to be in a place where they can safely pull over to perform them.
If you would like to learn more about the realities you may face if you have to use an ignition interlock device and how to protect yourself after a drunk driving arrest, please feel free to visit the impaired driving defendant’s page of our criminal defense and drunk driving defense website.