In addition to paying fines, participating in substance treatment programs and even potentially spending time in jail, a person convicted of an impaired driving charge may need to install and use an ignition interlock device.
An IID prevents a vehicle from being started until the driver successfully passes a breath test proving he or she is not currently under the influence of alcohol. That, however, is not the only test a driver must take when using an IID.
Ignition interlock devices and rolling retests
SmartStart, a provider of IIDs, indicates that these devices prompt a person to take breath tests while actively driving. Called rolling retests, these tests occur at random intervals and must be completed within just a few minutes of the prompts. Because a driver never knows when a rolling retest prompt may occur, he or she cannot plan to be in a location where it is safe to stop. This forces the driver to take the test and drive at the same time.
Rolling retests and distracted driving
Taking a test with an IID requires a person to hold the breath sample device in one hand, creating a manual distraction. The driver must also read the breath unit display to follow all prompts, taking his or her eyes off of the road. The driver’s attention also shifts away from the road to the test to avoid missing any instructions or steps in the test process.
Car and Driver magazine explains that multiple vehicle accidents have been connected to these rolling retests due to the significant distractions they cause for drivers.