The Ignition Interlock Device

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The Ignition Interlock Device

by: ricknu on
Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:20 pm

The Ignition Interlock Device
The Ignition Interlock Device
Sadly it is a misconception that the IID is used only to ensure the driver is sober enough to allow the engine of the automobile to be started. When the devices were first manufactured they actually were geared to this end. When it was discovered that upon occasion drivers who had been drinking got a friend to perform the test for them, the manufacturer built into the machine a process referred to as the Random Rolling Retest,

At random intervals while the car is being driven, the driver will be asked by the machine to provide a breath sample. Within a specified interval of time the breath sample must be provided. If it is not, the horn begins to sound off and the lights begin to flash continuously until the automobile is brought to a complete stop.

Should you be in a situation which requires your undivided attention while driving, the manufacturer claims, that if you fail to complete the test successfully, you will have enough time to either clear the scene or pull off the road to a stop.. The time frame for this is not given in the instructional video. Failure to provide a successful sample within a predetermined time will cause the horn to sound and the lights to flash continuously until the car is brought to a complete stop and the ignition turned off. A warning to pull off the road will also be provided should you fail the breath test or fail to complete the test within the time limits allowed by the machine. For example, should you drop the device onto the floor of the car and be unable to safely recover it in time, the results are inescapable.

So what repercussions may result from using this device in a rolling retest?:

The sequence of events involved not only in manipulating the device but providing the correct steps in the right sequence to provide a breath sample, employ a considerable mental and physical effort when blowing into the handheld monitor and driving in heavy traffic. Taken together, all at the same time, this will result in an unacceptable distraction possibly further resulting in an accident.
The time frame for providing a sample for the rolling retest can result in considerable driver distraction if he/she is hemmed in, in heavy traffic and attempting to exit a busy freeway. Stress levels may rise unacceptably. Improper lane changes and the like can be extremely hazardous. This has the potential to cause an accident.
If a driver fails a rolling retest (for a reason which may be totally unrelated to a sample failure) the resulting cacophony of horn blaring and lights flashing almost surely will cause increased stress levels and distraction inside the vehicle for both driver and passenger(s) and for other drivers in the vicinity. This has the potential to result in an accident.

(This might be dated but it would seem that the study was a valid one and should hold true for today). "Dramatic findings in a recently released study by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) show that interlock devices had no statistically significant effect in preventing subsequent drunk driving convictions, but they increase their users' general crash risk by up to 130%".

Just as a further note an additional study was done in 2004 by the California Dept. of Motor Vehicles. Please note the quote from the conclusion section of that study:

September 2004

"The relationship between IIDs and crashes changes when crashes are examined for offenders who installed an interlock device. Surprisingly, the two analyses that examined this both showed that the risk of crashes was higher for offenders installing an interlock."

One other point of note is that upon attempting to follow past research paths the author has noted that since posting the original website from which this blog is derived, some manufacturers seem to have either played down or removed altogether references to the consequences of either failing or missing a Random Rolling Retest. Also I have checked extensively. Manufacturers vary slightly in vehicle reactions to failed random rolling retests but basically most are as described above. I have searched extensively for information on how the random rolling retest works in Ontario. I have not been successful. Dare we say this is a deliberate attempt to mask the truth. What do you think?
In some jurisdictions, the province of Ontario, for example, a new law has come into effect barring the use of handheld devices while driving. This law seems to be specifically geared towards the use of cell phones but is broad enough to include many other activities. It would seem to be hypocritical, that in the list of devices arbitrarily decided to be exempted by the Dept. Of Transportation that the IID be included.

The following is from the RCMP website:
"Distracted driving: qualifies as talking on a cell phone, texting, reading (e.g. books, maps, and newspapers), using a GPS, watching videos or movies, and playing extremely loud music.
A study has found that taking your eyes off the road for two or more seconds increases your risk of being in a car accident by about double
(Ministry of Transportation)." ... ex-eng.htm

You can put away a cell phone in a heartbeat. You cannot ignore the IID in a Random Rolling Retest.

In the same vein, the IID is mandated for DUI convicted drivers who wish to or have an urgent need to return to driving possibly, for example, for maintaining one's career. The penalties for dui are extremely harsh under the guise of re-education. (Is this a valid judgement call? - Perhaps the only one truly qualified to put forth a valid judgement call is the founder of MADD, Candy Lightner. With the extremes of legislation subsequently fomented under the powerful lobbying efforts of MADD she quit in disgust claiming that she had never intended the movement to go so far. At this point in time she has disavowed any connection to this organization as it is today.)

Personally this author does not wish to be driving in the vicinity of any driver required to take a Random Rolling Retest in heavy traffic
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