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Federal government supports use of new IID for drunk drivers

Interlock ignition devices are becoming increasingly common for DUI offenders.
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    December 19, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Federal government supports use of new IID for drunk drivers

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Drivers in Maryland who are convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol may be required by law to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles for a set period of time once their driver's licenses are reinstated. The goal of an IID is to prevent people from repeating the same behavior, namely driving with a blood alcohol content that is over the legal limit. Anyone who may be facing a DUI charge should understand what these devices are and how they may work.

While the use of ignition interlock devices has been accepted for some time, new technology is available that the National Highway Transportation Safety Association believes may be helpful in further curtailing repeated drunk driving. The new IIDs are intended to be easier to utilize and less invasive overall yet highly effective.

How does an ignition interlock device work?

If you are ordered to have an IID installed in your vehicle, you will have a microchip placed into the ignition as well as a small Breathalyzer-type device mounted on your dashboard. These two components communicate with each other to record your blood alcohol content.

When you get into your vehicle, you will be prompted to breathe into the dashboard-mounted device. The results of your breath test are then sent to the ignition microchip. If your BAC is below the pre-programmed threshold, the chip will allow the vehicle to be started. If your BAC is over the pre-programmed threshold, the chip will lock the vehicle's ignition, preventing you from starting and driving it. You will need to retake the test and the ignition will only be unlocked once the breath test is passed.

What are rolling retests?

Once you have passed the initial BAC test and are driving, you will receive notifications from the system that follow-up tests are required. These happen at random times during each one of your driving trips. If such a test is failed, your vehicle will not be forced to stop but your horn will beep and your lights will flash until you voluntarily stop and turn off the vehicle.

New technology for IID systems

Data recently published show that the number of highway deaths increased in 2012 for the first time since 2005 with 33,561 people losing their lives on our nation's highways. The NHTSA is calling for updated technology in IIDs to be used as one way to attempt a reduction in this number.

The new ignition interlock devices are operated simply by placing your hands on the steering wheel and pushing a button. It is unclear if or when this new system may be adopted in Maryland or elsewhere.

Your right to a proper defense

If you have been arrested for either a DUI or a DWI, you are due a proper criminal defensethat can affect your ultimate consequences, including the need for an IID. Contacting an attorney that has experience with such cases can help you to get the best defense possible.

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