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Ignition interlock devices may be dangerous

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2020 | Drunk Driving |

For many years now, residents in New Jersey and across the country have heard and read much about the risks associated with distracted driving and with driving under the influence of alcohol.

A person convicted of a drunk driving charge may end up being required to install and use an ignition interlock device as part of their penalties. Interestingly, these devices may actually exacerbate distracted driving, putting drivers and others at risk.

Different forms of distracted driving

Distracted driving may take many forms. AAA Exchange explains that a distraction may be manual, visual or cognitive. Manual distractions include holding a phone in one hand while driving, taking a driver’s hand off the wheel. Sending or reading a text message may result in manual, visual and cognitive distractions all at the same time as the driver must also divert their eyes and attention away from driving.

The IID rolling retest

While most people know that an ignition interlock device keeps a vehicle ignition locked until a person passes a breath test, they may not know that the person must take additional breath tests once the ignition has been started. Called rolling retests, these tests occur at random times and require the driver to hold the unit in their hand, read the unit display and concentrate on every step in the test. In short, rolling retests with an ignition interlock device may be new forms of distracted driving.

Car and Driver magazine reported that many vehicle accidents have been associated with a driver’s participation in these rolling retests due to the multiple distractions that they cause.