Ignition interlock device dangers

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2020 | dui/dwi

A person in New York may have their driver’s license suspended or revoked for a time after a driving under the influence conviction. Depending on the nature of their case, they may reinstate their driving privileges if they install and use an ignition interlock device.

An IID requires a person to provide a clean, alcohol-free breath sample before being allowed to start their vehicle and drive. The goal of these devices is to prevent repeat instances of drunk driving.

IIDs and rolling retests

What many people do not know about ignition interlock devices is that once a vehicle has been started, a driver must provide additional breath samples at random times when prompted by the system. This results in the person needing to navigate both the rolling retest and the act of driving at the same time.

A report by Car and Driver magazine indicates this contributes to distracted driving because the tests require a driver to hold the breath test unit with one hand, read the display and concentrate on all steps to avoid failing the test. The participation in these tests has been linked to many vehicle crashes.

Three forms of driver distractions

As explained by the AAA Exchange, distracted driving may take multiple forms. Some distractions are manual, taking a driver’s hand or hands off the steering wheel or driving controls. In a rolling retest, the driver must remove a hand from the wheel to hold the unit while providing the breath sample.

Visual and cognitive distractions cause risks by reducing the focus a person places on the act of driving.