Unforeseen Dangers of Anti-Drunk-Driving Interlock Devices

For more than a decade, law makers have been turning to technology to address the problem of drunk driving. Ignition Interlock Devices, or IIDS, are high-tech systems that are commonly used to combat DUIs. These devices require convicted drunk drivers to submit a self-administered breathalyzer test in order to operate their vehicle. The IID device will disable the car’s capacity to turn on if drunk driving has been detected.

How do IIDs work?

The IID system is made up of two components, a mouthpiece that is used for breath collection, and a computerized alcohol-detection apparatus. As the driver breathes into the mouthpiece, sensors detect the amount of alcohol present. If the alcohol levels exceed acceptable limits, the computer engages the lock-out function, and the driver is unable to start the car.

Praise for IID programs

States across the country have been increasingly implementing this device. The use of IID systems in the United States has nearly tripled in the past ten years. Proponents extol the benefits of keeping repeat offenders from being able to operate their vehicles.

Problems with IIDs

The life-saving benefits are extremely important and noteworthy, but the IID systems are not without problems. In fact, there are several deadly accidents that were caused by IIDs.

IID devices have been known to cause distractions when drivers attempt to register a breath reading while driving. One of the major safety features of the system is that it requires intermittent breath tests, called rolling retests, while the car is in operation.

While the intention is to have drivers pull over to safely perform retests, drivers will instead try to take the test while driving. Clearly, this presents a risk for distracted driving that can endanger all drivers on the road.

The system threatens to shut down the vehicle’s ability to operate if a satisfactory test is not registered in a timely manner, so drivers have been known to provide their breath sample at the risk of their own safety and risk all other drivers on the road.

Unfortunate incidents have been reported in which a driver has caused an accident while reaching for the mouthpiece. In other cases, the exertion of focus and effort to provide a sample through concentrated, forceful exhaling has been enough to distract the driver.

These incidents have caused concerns for those who would like to keep the roads clear of drunk drivers, but also have an interest in keeping driver distraction controlled as well.

Washington, D.C. Car Accident Attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Represent Injured Drivers

If you were injured by a drunk driver or a distracted driver, you may be eligible for compensation. IIDs are designed to make the roads safer, but distracted driving accidents can still occur. Our Washington, D.C. car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane. O. King will help you identify liable parties and will fight for you to get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call 202-331-1963 to set up a free case evaluation. Located in Washington, DC, we also serve clients throughout Maryland.