Brooklyn residents may have heard of the ignition interlock device, an in-car breathalyzer that prevents drunk drivers from heading out on the road. The number of IIDs installed has grown from 133,000 to 350,000 over the past decade, and 34 states have a law requiring these devices in the vehicles of DUI offenders. Those states, incidentally, see 15% fewer alcohol-related crash fatalities than the other states.
While there are numerous benefits linked to the use of IIDs, there is one drawback. It’s linked to the fact that IIDs require a “rolling retest” while the car is in motion. While this keeps drivers from using the trick where they have a sober friend blow into the breathalyzer to start the car, it has been a factor in a large number of car crashes, according to a recent investigation.
Companies that sell IIDs point out several things. First, one is not required to look at the IID to take the retest. All that’s required is for one to blow into the handset. Second, the IID gives sufficient time (a few minutes) to pull over if one is uneasy about taking the retest while the vehicle is in motion. Still, distraction is an issue that automakers need to consider as IIDs may become mandatory on all future vehicles.
Distracted driving, whatever the cause of it may be, is a form of negligence. When distracted drivers cause motor vehicle crashes, those who incur a serious injury or disability may be able to take legal action. The courts will determine each party’s degree of fault, and this will affect the amount that victims are eligible for in damages. To help ensure a fair settlement, a victim might want to hire a lawyer. Legal counsel may litigate if a settlement isn’t achieved.