An ignition interlock device or IID is a breath-testing device that a driver needs to blow into before starting a vehicle. If the BAC reading exceeds a pre-determined level, then the vehicle will not start.
While many are under the impression that ignition interlock devices are not just a hassle to use, susceptible to interlock false positives and costly, it must be known that installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle can actually be beneficial.
- Recidivism rates are reduced
Research shows that lower recidivism rates (ie: lower repeat offenders) have been seen among first-time and repeat DWI offenders with ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles. There is also clear evidence that having an IID installed in a DWI offender’s vehicle is much more effective compared to license suspension in deterring DWI recidivism.
- Legal driving status is maintained
Ignition interlock devices allow DWI offenders to either regain or maintain their legal driving status. This ability to continue driving may be crucial in allowing them to retain employment and support their families, as well as manage family-related and court-ordered responsibilities that may require driving to and from certain locations.
Unfortunately, many DWI offenders without ignition interlock devices installed on their vehicles opt to drive illegally with a disqualified or suspended license. Installing an IID on a DWI offender’s vehicle therefore improves public safety as it reduces the probability of such scenario occurring.
- It is affordable
While it is true that the installation and maintenance of the ignition interlock device will require you to shell out some money, the reality is that the overall amount is affordable if you consider the cost of alternative punishments that may be handed to you by the court for a DWI such as hefty fines and other penalties.
- Repeat or future DWI offenses can be predicted
Studies show that the Ignition Interlock Device can reliably predict future repeat DWI offense risks due to its ability to record breath tests logged into the device. DWI offenders with more failed BAC tests were shown to have a higher chance of having repeat DWI offense charges later on, even after the IID has been uninstalled. Such information may therefore be crucial when deciding whether or not to restore a DWI offender’s license.
- It benefits both the DWI offenders and their loved ones
All DWI offenders can potentially benefit from the installation and use of the ignition interlock system. After all, its installation does not just allow DWI offenders to maintain their responsibilities, but it also serves as a reminder to them that their behavior can directly impact their right to drive. The family members of DWI offenders are also provided a level of reassurance that with the IID system, their loved one is not drinking while driving.
- Lives can be saved.
There is no question about it: Ignition interlock devices make the roads safer for everyone. In fact, states that require all convicted drunk drivers to use an IID have cut DWI deaths by over 30 percent. These states include Arizona, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oregon.