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New technology available for DUI penalty

California drivers convicted of driving under the influence may often be required to install what is known as an ignition interlock device once they have had their driving privileges reinstated.

The IID is a mechanism by which a driver’s blood alcohol can be measured prior to starting a vehicle to determine whether or not that person should be allowed to drive at that time. It is essentially an attempt to prevent repeated incidents of drunk driving and further DUI arrests.

Understanding IIDs is important for anyone who has been arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated. It is also useful to know that there is new technology that may be changing the way an IID works, if the National Highway Transportation Safety Association is successful in securing broad adoption of the new product.

How do current ignition interlock devices work?

The standard IID is comprised of two primary components. One is a Breathalyzer device and the other is a computer chip. The main device mounts on the dash of a vehicle and the chip is installed directly into the vehicle ignition.

When the driver’s BAC is recorded into the first device, it transmits the data to the ignition chip, letting the chip know whether or not the vehicle ignition should be unlocked or not. If the BAC is over a designated level, the vehicle will not be able to be started until a test taken later is successfully passed.

What happens after a vehicle is started?

The ignition interlock device is not only used to monitor driver behavior before driving but while behind the wheel as well. Random tests are to be taken during each vehicle journey and if the BAC is over the designated limit, the horn will sound and the lights will flash until the vehicle is stopped and has the ignition turned off.

What is different in the new IID’s?

The new form of ignition interlock device is simpler to use and less invasive to drivers while maintaining a high level of accuracy and effectiveness. The NHTSA is encouraging use of the new systems to continue a push to reduce repeat DUI offenses.

In 2012, the number of fatalities on our nation’s highways rose to 33,561. This was the first increase since 2005. Accidents that involved a driver cited for DUI accounted for some of the deaths.

Getting help for DUI consequences

The use of an ignition interlock device is only one form of penalty that can be assessed when a driver is convicted of a DUI. License suspension , jail time, fines and more can all impact a person’s life after such an experience. Working with an attorney is advised for anyone facing these charges to ensure fair treatment and consequences.