Thousands of people lose their lives each year due to drunk driving accidents. Often, the intoxicated driver is a repeat offender. California law takes repeat offenses in consideration crafting punitive statutes. A common approach taken by legislatures involve the mandatory installation of interlock ignition devices, since these devices could reduce potential accidents.
The purpose of an interlock ignition device
An ignition interlock device (IID) is not an oversized or complicated piece of equipment, but it could save many people’s lives. The device connects to a vehicle’s ignition system and requires anyone attempting to start the ignition to breathe into it. The device then attempts to detect alcohol on the person’s breath. If alcohol is present, the IID overrides the ignition and the vehicle will not start.
Statistics revealed that the installation could reduce repeat drunk driving offenses by as much as 95%. The low end of 40% still reflects a substantial decrease. Courts often require an interlock ignition device as part of the sanctions against convicted drunk drivers. State law may mandate the installation for repeat offenders, but first-time offenders may also need to install one. Be aware that state law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Legal issues concerning an interlock ignition device
Anyone ordered to install an interlock ignition device must follow the court’s directives. Attempts to remove the device could lead to punitive actions, such as contempt of court. Also, installing the device could be a condition of addressing driver’s license suspensions due to DUI convictions. Anyone who removes or tampers with the device may lose their driving privileges.
Additionally, a convicted drunk driver could look at harsh maximum jail terms and fines. That said, the court may impose penalties that are not as severe, depending upon the particulars.