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Ignition Interlock Device: What is it?

Category: Automobile/Car Accidents Drunk Driving Accidents

In the ongoing efforts to curb impaired driving and promote road safety, one technology has emerged as a key player—the Ignition Interlock Device (IID). This device, often mandated for certain individuals with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) convictions, serves as a preventive measure to ensure that drivers operate their vehicles sober.

What Does an IID Do?

An IID is a breathalyzer installed in a vehicle’s ignition system. It requires the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before starting the vehicle. If the breath sample registers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above a predetermined threshold, the device prevents the ignition from engaging, rendering the vehicle inoperable. Its primary purpose is to prevent individuals under the influence of alcohol from starting the engine, thereby reducing the risk of impaired driving.

Additionally, throughout the entire duration of a trip, individuals using an IID are required to provide periodic breath samples. This ongoing requirement ensures that the driver remains alcohol-free while operating the vehicle.

Who Has to Have an IID?

In California, the installation of an IID is typically required for individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) under specific circumstances. The state’s laws mandate IID installation in the following situations:

First DUI Offense (Under Senate Bill 1046)

As of January 1, 2019, a first-time DUI offender may be required to install an IID for a period of six months if they want to avoid a license suspension of 30 days and maintain unlimited driving privileges.

Multiple DUI Offenses

Individuals with multiple DUI convictions are generally required to install an IID for an extended period. The duration of IID installation increases with each subsequent DUI offense.

DUI with Injury

If a DUI offense results in injury to another person, the court may order the installation of an IID as part of the sentencing.

DUI with High BAC

Drivers with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at the time of arrest, typically exceeding 0.15%, may be subject to mandatory IID installation.

Can IIDs Cause Accidents?

IIDs themselves are not designed to cause accidents. However, it’s essential to consider the potential for distraction when using an IID. The device requires drivers to perform a specific action (breath testing) while operating the vehicle, and this could potentially divert their attention from the road. Drivers should use IIDs responsibly, ensuring that they follow the device’s prompts without compromising their focus on safe driving.

Moreover, any technology, including IIDs, is subject to occasional malfunctions or errors. Regular maintenance and calibration are crucial to ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the device. In rare cases, technical issues could potentially lead to misunderstandings or complications during driving.

Have You Been Hit By a Driver with an IID?

If you have been involved in a collision caused by a driver distracted by an IID, you have the right to hold them accountable for your injuries and other losses. Consult a Fresno Car Accident Attorney as soon as possible. They can provide guidance on how to proceed and ensure you recover fair compensation.