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Defenders Of The Accused
Matthew Radefeld & Dan Juengel

Ignition interlock devices and distracted driving

| Sep 22, 2018 | Drunk Driving |

Among the various penalties that a person in Missouri might experience if they are convicted of a driving while intoxicated offense is the required installation and use of an ignition interlock device. This device is intended to prevent a person from driving after consuming alcohol again and it allows drivers to regain their driving privileges earlier than they may otherwise without the IID.

As explained by the Missouri Department of Transportation, an IID consists of a few components that must be professionally installed. Together, the components can control the ignition of a vehicle as well as the horn and headlights. A driver must take and successfully pass a breath test every time they want to start their vehicle. The vehicle will not start if the test is not passed indicating the driver is not intoxicated.

However, this is not the only time a person must take a breath test. Subsequent tests must also be taken while the person is actively driving. In today’s world, there is a lot of awareness and discussion about the risks of distracted driving yet this continues to be a required element to IID programs. Taking a breath test requires the driver to hold the device in one hand, taking that hand off of the wheel. They must also read the instructions on the device, taking their eyes away from the road. Finally, the person must concentrate on executing the steps properly and on time, taking their concentration away from driving.

The Missouri Department of Revenue also indicates that some people must use IID systems with cameras that take pictures of them during each test.