Ignition Interlock Devices (IIDs) have become a popular tool used by California courts to address DUI offenders. An IID is a small handheld device connected to a motor vehicle that measures the amount of alcohol in the user’s breath. It is an in-car mini-breathalyzer, the size of a cellphone, that prevents users from starting a vehicle until a breath alcohol test is self-administered and passed.
The technology associated with ignition interlock devices is advanced to the extent that an IID detects and records any attempts to disconnect or tamper with the device, each time the car engine is started and turned off, and all breath test results.
If a court orders the use of an ignition interlock device, it must be professionally installed on the steering column of every car that a defendant owns or drives, except employer-owned cars and motorcycles. Once installed, an IID must be serviced, at least, every 60 days.
Upon entering a car equipped with an IID, to start it, a driver must blow into the IID and provide an alcohol-free breath sample. If the sample is not alcohol-free, the car will not start. But it does not end here. The IID will ask for random samples anywhere from five to fifteen minutes after a trip begins, and then approximately every 45 minutes as the trip continues.
Drivers have six minutes to provide a sample once the instrument requests a sample mid-trip. If the driver fails the test, the ignition interlock device does not disable the motor vehicle, but it does register a failed result on the driver’s court log, which is reported to the supervising court.
To protect the integrity of the process, the design of ignition interlock devices ensures that only drivers can provide their own breath samples. By requiring a specific breath pattern for the sample, the IID can detect if someone other than the driver is the source of the breath sample. An IID has a very short cord that will only reach the driver and not the passenger side or back seat of the car. Perhaps the greatest deterrent is that it is a crime to ask others to provide their breath samples as a substitute fraudulently.
If someone you love suffers from alcoholism and is a DUI offender who is facing prison time, there are options. Call the Dolan Law Offices today at (760) 775-3739 or find out more online here.