Studies have shown that without a doubt, ignition interlock devices have done good in their time as an implemented tool against intoxicated driving. Hundreds of thousands of attempts by drunk drivers to start and use their vehicles have ended up thwarted thanks to these devices.
A total of 34 states requires convicted DUI offenders to have these devices installed in their car. However, as more drivers contend with them, other factors tied to these devices begin to come to light, and some of the news is not great.
What are IIDs?
Car and Driver discuss the ways ignition interlock devices may impact driver safety. To understand where the distraction comes in, one must first understand how ignition interlock devices (IIDs) work. In order to start the car at all, you must breathe into the device. If it detects alcohol on your breath, the car will not start.
The risks of rolling retests
However, some people get around this by having a sober person breathe into the device to start the car. To combat this, IIDs will also implement “rolling retests”. This system will require a driver to breathe into the device at regular intervals while in the middle of driving. Needless to say, this can serve as a huge distraction, and in recent years, distracted driving crashes have ended up linked to IIDs.
Despite this, companies selling and making IIDs point out that a driver does not need to view these devices during retests. On top of that, retests give the driver several minutes to take them, so drivers can easily pull over to the side of the road if they feel unsafe.