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The Use of Technology to Control DUI in California – Ignition Interlock Device

Many organizations and legislators have been trying to completely eradicate drunk driving in America for many years. Laws have been enacted with stiff penalties but that has not done a lot to remove drunk driving from the leading causes of accidents, injuries and fatalities on American highways. Since the world is growing in technology every day, experts had to come up with a way to use a type of technology to reduce cases of DUIs. This heralded the development of the Ignition Interlock Device or IID. This device is based on the breathalyzer design and principle. Before one starts the vehicle, the driver must exhale into the gadget to obtain a breath sample. The gadget then analyzes the breath alcohol concentration and according to the programmed limit, will either prevent or permit the engine from starting. More developments were added to the device to prevent another person from breathing into the device on behalf of the drunk driver to enable them to drive on. Once the engine has started the Ignition Interlock Device will randomly request another breath sample. If the second breath sample exceeds the programmed limit or if the driver fails to provide another sample, the gadget will create a log of the event. The device will display a warning message to the driver and deploy an alarm that will run until the vehicle comes to a stop and is turned off. Contrary to common misconception, the device does not immediately turn off the vehicles engine. This could result in the device being more of a hazard than a safety gadget.

In 2009 the Ignition Interlock Device was allowed to be installed into DUI offender’s vehicles as an alternative to sentencing. California already has strict laws against DUI and did not hesitate to implement the IID. In California if one has a suspended license as a result of drunken driving, it is required by law that the offender’s car be fitted with the Ignition Interlock Device. The device may stay in place for up to 3 years following the conviction depending on the gravity and circumstances surrounding the arrest. If a driver chooses not to have the device installed, he or she will then have to give up their driving privileges and to depend on public transport or someone else to drive them. Once the IID is installed, the responsible authorities will periodically check the logs on the device to weed out repeat offenders. The intervals between log reviews could be between 30 to 90 days. If a repeat offense is discovered, the driver could face stiffer penalties. The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) ceaselessly advocate for the installation of this device on vehicles of all first time or repeat DUI 0offenders.

When convicted of a DUI, you are required by the court to install the IID in your vehicle. You will carry the cost of installing, calibrating and maintaining the Ignition Interlock Device. Enter your zip at the top of this webpage page to know more about the Ignition Interlock Device.