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Ignition interlock devices and distracted driving

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2020 | Criminal Law |

People arrested for and charged with drunk driving offenses in Montana may experience a range of penalties depending on the circumstances of their case. For some, the suspension or revocation of their driving privileges may be one of those penalties.

In select cases, a driver may reinstate their driving privileges by installing an ignition interlock device. The IID may even be mandated by the court. However, some concerns about the safety of these devices do exist.

Three types of distracted driving

As explained by AAA Exchange, distracted driving may involve diverting a person’s eyes, hands or mind off the act of driving. Actions requiring two or more of these factors may exist and be even more dangerous than a distraction involving only one.

IIDs and rolling retests

An ignition interlock device requires a driver to pass a breath test prior to starting their vehicle. The goal of the IID is to prevent repeat instances of drunk driving. However, as explained by Car and Driver magazine, once a driving trip has been initiated, the driver must complete additional tests while on the road.

These rolling retests occur at random times, preventing a driver from planning ahead to safely be at a place where they may pull over to take the test. A test requires the driver to hold the IID device, read the device display and pay attention to all prompts so as to follow the steps appropriately. Together, this scenario results in manual, visual and cognitive distractions.

Many vehicle crashes have been directly linked to a person’s participation in a rolling retest with an ignition interlock device.