New Form of Ignition Interlock Device Possible
Drivers in Ohio, along with those in other states, know that the penalties for being convicted of an alcohol-related driving offense can be serious. The nature of each offense largely determines the nature of the related consequences. This means that whether or not the driver has any prior convictions, whether or not an accident took place and more can all impact the outcome for drivers.
Penalties for DUI/OVI charges if convicted can include fines, jail time as well as the loss of driving privileges for a certain period of time. Some drivers can also face the required installation and use of an ignition interlock device.
Understanding ignition interlock devices
An ignition interlock device is comprised of two separate components that communicate and work together. The point of the IID is to prevent people who have been convicted of drunk driving from repeating the action or behavior. It works as follows:
- A unit is mounted on the dashboard and the driver is required to breathe into this unit upon entering the vehicle.
- This unit registers the driver’s blood alcohol content and sends the results to a microchip that has been installed in the ignition.
- If the blood alcohol content is within the range that is considered acceptable, the IID will release the ignition, allowing the vehicle to be started.
- If the blood alcohol content is over the level that is acceptable, the IID will maintain a lock on the vehicle’s ignition, preventing it from being started.
If the vehicle’s ignition is locked as the result of a failed test, it will remain as such until a test taken at a later time is successfully passed.
Even when the initial test is passed, additional tests must be taken while the driver is actually driving the vehicle. A failed test at this point will result in the horn honking and the lights flashing until the automobile is stopped and the ignition turned off.
New form of IID technology available
Advances in the technology behind the IID have led to the development of a new version of the device for use as a DUI/OUI penalty. This new ignition interlock device is intended to be simpler for drivers to use and offers a more streamlined and less invasive appearance.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has indicated its support for the new version of IID to be adopted. This is in response to data recently released which indicates that 2012 saw the first increase in highway fatalities in the United States since 2005. The NHTSA is focused on ways to reduce such deaths and the agency considers the new IID one potential option for this.
Options for drivers facing DUI/OUI charges
While it is uncertain if or when the new IID may be used in Ohio, it is clear that a DUI/OUI arrest is serious. If you are facing drunk driving charges, it is worth your time to talk to an attorney to learn how you can help yourself in the legal process.