Ignition interlock devices provide an effective way to curb drunk driving. They are so effective that Georgia and 33 other states have a law requiring DUI offenders to install an IID in their vehicle. This device is nothing more than an in-car Breathalyzer, and it prevents a car from starting if the driver fails the test.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supports the IID, saying it can reduce repeat DUI offenses by 70% when installed. States with an IID law see 15% fewer alcohol-related crash fatalities than those that do not. If proposed legislation is passed, IID technology may become mandatory on all new vehicles by 2024. Despite all of the attention that IIDs are getting, though, little notice has been made of the car crashes that involve them.
A New York Times investigation has found that many drivers become distracted by the IID when it requests a “rolling retest”. In other words, drivers have to pick up the handset and blow into it at regular intervals while on the road, and this can prove to be a distraction. The retests are meant to prevent tricks where drunk drivers have a sober friend blow into the machine. It should be remembered that IIDs allow drivers several minutes before they take a retest, during which time motorists could easily pull over.
When distraction is to blame for auto accidents, those who were not at fault may file a claim to be compensated for any injuries they incurred. A successful claim could cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Negotiating for a settlement is another matter, and having legal representation can be advisable.