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Are ignition interlock devices safe?

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2020 | DUI Charges | 0 comments

If you have been arrested and charged with an impaired driving offense in Arizona, you may end up being mandated to install and use an ignition interlock device as part of your penalties.

The IID does allow you to drive again during your license suspension or revocation period. However, also poses a risk you may not be aware of.

IIDs and rolling retests

Most people know that an IID keeps a vehicle’s ignition locked until a driver provides a clean breath sample. What most people may not know, however, is that an ignition interlock device also requires a driver to take subsequent breath tests once the vehicle’s ignition has been started. Referred to as rolling retests, these may occur at random times preventing the driver from planning a route that allows the opportunity to stop and take the test. This means a driver may need to take a test while actively driving.

A report by Car and Driver magazine indicates that rolling retests have been connected with multiple vehicle accidents and may well be a new form of distracted driving.

Three forms of distraction for drivers

Distracted driving does not only involve things that divert a driver’s eyes away from the act of driving but also their mind and their hands. Taking a rolling retest involves all three of these types of distraction.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give residents in Arizona an understanding of how ignition interlock devices work and how they may well contribute to distracted driving, posing a unique challenge to defendants required to use IIDs.