Individuals facing alcohol-related DUI charges might worry about the penalties they face and how a conviction can affect their future. In Oklahoma, courts order the installation and monitoring of an ignition interlock device for anyone whose Blood Alcohol Concentration levels are 0.15% or more. 

Understanding what an ignition interlock device is and how it works will increase user’s awareness of the dangers associated with the equipment. 

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device is a handheld car breathalyzer that measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s breath. Required installation of an IID is common following a DUI offense. This device prevents the user from starting his or her vehicle unless he or she takes a breath alcohol test. If the IID registers results that are over the BAC  preset, then the vehicle will not start. 

IID report failed alcohol tests to the interlock device provider which may lead to further legal problems for the driver. 

What are the dangers of this device?

An IID requires the driver to randomly retest while he or she is operating the vehicle. To do so, the motorist must take a hand off the wheel and blow hard into the mouthpiece. These actions take the driver’s attention off the road. By ignoring taking the retest, the vehicle will honk its horn and flash its headlights, causing further disturbance and distraction. 

New York Times review found drivers taking the IID retest who almost lost a hand when hitting a telephone pole, blacked out and crashed while blowing into the mouthpiece and killed someone after dropping and reaching down for the device. 

Penalties for DUI convictions can have very serious effects on people’s futures, but the consequence should not threaten lives any further.