Ignition interlocks are devices used to promote safe and sober driving habits after a person has been convicted of an alcohol-related driving incident. Ignition interlock devices are small, mechanical units that connect to the ignition system of a vehicle. In order to start a vehicle, an offender’s breath sample must be tested to measure the alcohol level in the driver’s blood system. If the blood alcohol content of the driver is over a predetermined amount, the ignition system will lock and the car will not start. The driver must then wait and sober up to submit another breath sample. Ignition interlock devices ensure that the person behind the wheel of the car is sober before driving, and even while a vehicle is in operation.
“Rolling retests” are part of the safety considerations of an ignition interlock device. A rolling retest helps guarantee that a convicted drunk driver did not have a sober friend help to circumvent the device and BAC test, as well as ensure that there has not been any alcohol consumed while driving. Since rolling retests require the driver to blow into the device while operating the vehicle, there are certain safety precautions to avoid dangerous or distracted driving situations.
When a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device (IID) is in motion, the IID will alert the driver that a rolling retest is required. This helps to keep the driver aware of his or her surroundings. When the device signals the retest, the driver has a few minutes to pull over and safely blow a retest. If the driver does not want to pull over, he or she may also submit the breath test while driving. Since an IID does not require eye contact, it can be used while driving safely if the driver is comfortable.
Safety considerations are always a priority when driving, and for those who must use an ignition interlock device, the best course of action is always to follow the instructions for any breath test, whether before starting vehicle or during a rolling retest. If these guidelines are followed and sobriety is maintained, there is no fear of a vehicle becoming disabled or endangering the lives of others on the road.