Ignition Interlocks – Attempting to Curb Drunk Driving

Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense legally and can have life changing consequences for the drunk driver, as well as others on the road.  Before you get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol, consider the consequences that it can have on your life and the life of others.  There are many options for getting home after drinking, so don’t make the mistake of getting behind the wheel and attempting to drive after consuming alcohol. If  you’ve been convicted of DUI, then you may be required to use an ignition interlock device.

Ignition interlock devices – What they are and how they work

An ignition interlock device is an electronic breath alcohol test or analyzer that connects to the vehicle’s ignition via the starter system or other on board computer systems of a motor vehicle. It is not connected to the engine and therefore cannot stop the car once it has been started. The interlock device measures the breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of the intended driver and prevents the vehicle from being started if the BAC exceeds a pre-set limit. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards require the “failure” to be within +.01 of the pre-set limit. Most devices are pre-set to a BAC level of .02, with the threshold for lockout set at .025 (NHTSA, 2007).
To start the motor vehicle, the driver blows into a mouthpiece attached to the device, which measures the individual’s BAC level at that moment in time. If the driver does not have alcohol above the measurable level in their system, the vehicle will start normally. However, if the device measures alcohol above the predetermined level then the vehicle will not start. Interlocks may be set for “running” retests, which require a driver to provide additional breath tests at regular intervals once they start driving. This prevents drivers from asking a sober friend to start the car, or from starting the car and then drinking while driving. A running retest failure is logged in the device’s data recorder and provides an audible warning for the driver to stop the vehicle (pull over notice). It also initiates audible and visible warnings (e.g., flashing lights or honking horn) so other drivers, including the police, will notice the vehicle if the driver continues to drive.

For more information about Ignition Interlocks and other drunk driving information visit: http://www.centurycouncil.org/drunk-driving/drunk-driving-statistics

If you’ve been arrested for DUI/DWI then you will most likely need the help of an experienced DUI Attorney.  Here are a few resources we’ve found online:

Finding Good Legal Services

At some point in your life you may require the services of an attorney.  Finding an experienced attorney that has specialized knowledge in the area of law you require is important to ensure the best possible outcome.  You can ask friends and family for a referral to a local attorney or you can go online and search for an attorney that meets your needs.

There are a lot of online attorney directories that list information about attorneys including their locations, practice areas they service, education, awards and in some cases reviews.  Here are a few of the attorney directories we’ve found online:

If you live in Virginia here are some local attorney resources that can provide help:

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