Will ignition interlock devices be built into new vehicles?

Arizona drivers who must use ignition interlock devices should learn about how these items may be changing.

Arizona residents are subject to some of the harshest DUI penalties in the nation. People who are convicted of these offenses suffer severe financial consequences, as well as the need to spend time in jail. Some drivers lose the right to drive for certain periods of time as well. Once driving privileges are reinstated, it is common for drivers to be ordered to install and use ignition interlock devices.

The Arizona Department of Transportation notes that even a first-time DUI conviction can result in the required use of an IID. An ignition interlock system is a combination of a breath test capture device and an electronic vehicle ignition controller. They must be installed and maintained by specific installers certified by the state.

How current IIDs work today

A vehicle's ignition remains locked unless a driver successfully passes a breath test. This must be done before every intended trip in a vehicle. If a driver cannot pass a breath test, the ignition stays in a locked position, preventing a trip from being initiated. The goal of these units is to prevent a driver, previously convicted of drunk driving charges, from operating a vehicle while under the influence, again.

Even once a vehicle trip has been initiated after a passed test, a driver will have to undergo additional breath tests in order to continue driving without alarms sounding. Vehicles cannot be stopped automatically, but horns will sound and lights will flash until a driver turns an ignition off after a failed test while driving. All test data is saved and recorded for subsequent download and review.

New cars may feature built-in IID technology

The U.S. Congress is reportedly in support of having ignition interlock device functionality built into newly manufactured vehicles. BoldRide.com indicates that select vehicle manufacturers are pursuing this option. It would eliminate the need for drivers to have additional equipment installed into their vehicles after a DUI conviction.

Mashable.com notes that other changes to IIDs are also being tested. These options still require aftermarket installations, but could eliminate the need for a driver to submit to a breath test. A driver's system's alcohol content would instead be collected and measured by touch, not breath. These models are being developed and tested by the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety. Congress may also be funding the research and development of these devices.

Arrested drivers deserve help

When a person has been arrested and charged with drunk driving, the right legal input is important. Contacting an attorney promptly is always a best bet.

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