The changing face of ignition interlock devices
Ignition interlock devices may be undergoing some changes with new technological advances and models.
St. Louis residents know that the state of Missouri can crack down hard on people arrested for driving while intoxicated. Among the consequences that drivers can face are the loss of driving privileges and the required use of ignition interlock devices. Mothers Against Drunk Driving notes that people convicted of even a first offense can now face the need to install and use IIDs since the passing of a 2012 law.
According to the Missouri Department of Revenue, drivers with a first-time DWI conviction can have their driving privileges suspended for 90 days. After 30 days, they can receive Restricted Driving Privileges. In some cases, drivers may be eligible for RDP status with the installation of an IID.
Drivers who are convicted of second or subsequent DWI offenses will lose their drivers’ licenses for one year. No RDP status will be available to them. However, they can apply for a status of Limited Driving Privileges after their first 30 days of no driving privileges at all.
How ignition interlocks work today
Current ignition interlock devices work by first taking a breath sample from a driver. That sample is collected via a unit that is most commonly mounted on a vehicle dashboard. The data from that sample is sent to a microchip that controls the vehicle ignition. It is also recorded for download and review later.
If the breath sample shows an alcohol content greater than allowed, the vehicle ignition is disabled and the driver cannot operate the vehicle at that time. If the breath sample shows an alcohol content under the allowed threshold, the vehicle ignition is unlocked and the driver can start and operate the vehicle at that time.
Once a trip has been initiated, a driver can be required to provide a subsequent breath sample. If this test is also passed, the driver can continue as normal. If this test is not passed, alarms will be set off and continue until the vehicle is stopped and turned completely off.
How ignition interlocks may change
Different options for IIDs are being considered. BoldRide.com notes that some auto manufacturers are considering integrating this technology directly into new vehicles. Congress is reportedly in support of this action.
Another potential change is the shift away from breath samples to touch sensors. According to Mashable.com, the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety is investigating an ignition interlock devices that installs sensors into steering wheels or remote starters. These sensors would be able to measure alcohol levels simply by touch.
Important information for drivers
Missouri drivers already face some of the toughest DWI laws in the country. Because of this, it is imperative that anyone arrested for drunk driving seek help from a lawyer right away.