Ignition interlock mechanisms were invented as a preventative step to keep DUI offenders from driving drunk in the future. For a second or third DUI conviction, one of the penalties that the court orders may be the installation of an ignition interlock device in your means. The purpose of this mechanism is to prevent a DUI offender from operating his or her car while drunk.
Each time you start your car, you must first breathe into the device, which will determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your BAC is above the programmed limit, usually between .02 and .04, your car will not start. While you are driving you will again be asked to exhale into the device at random intervals to check your BAC. If the device records your BAC as over the limit or you fail to breathe into it when it requests a sample, a loud alarm will sound until the means is turned off or the sample is provided.
The Limitations of Ignition Interlock
Having an ignition interlock device in your car can be distracting, inconvenient, and embarrassing. You may be driving in heavy traffic and have your concentration interrupted when the mechanism requests a sample. If you cannot provide the sample in time the alarm will sound, which could startle you and increase your risk of having an accident. Family or friends may be uncomfortable riding with you with an ignition interlock in the car, and explaining it to your date could put a damper on your relationship.
If you have a job that involves driving and you are convicted of a DUI, you could be fired. Many employers will not allow employees with DUIs to function vehicles such as company cars, taxis, or delivery trucks. Employees with a commercial driver’s license who are arrested for a DUI will have their commercial license suspended and will likely lose their job. Having a DUI on your record and an ignition interlock device in your car could consequently limit your current and future employment opportunities.
To avoid having to deal with the inconvenience of an ignition interlock device, the simplest solution is to avoid driving drunk altogether. If, however, you are arrested for a DUI, consider contacting a DUI defense lawyer closest to help you prepare your defense for court.
For More Information
To learn more about DUI penalties and defending against DUI charges, please visit the website of experienced Rhode Island DUI defense attorney James Powderly today.