DUI penalty may encourage distracted driving

On Behalf of | Jun 9, 2020 | Drunk Driving

People in Pennsylvania who have been convicted of driving under the influence offenses may lose the right to drive as part of their penalties. Without access to transportation, a person may have a hard time keeping a job and providing for themselves or their families.

Some defendants may have the ability to install and use an ignition interlock device. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, some DUI defendants may even be required to use an IID.

How an IID works

An ignition interlock device essentially locks a vehicle’s engine and only allows it to be started upon the receipt of a clean breath sample by the driver. In addition, the driver must provide clean breath samples at random times while operating their vehicle. These rolling retests require them to pay attention to all prompts, audible and visual, from the handheld unit. The driver must also hold the unit in their hand while providing the sample.

IIDs and distracted driving

A report by Car and Driver magazine has highlighted the risk that rolling retests create for both DUI defendants, their passengers and others on the roads. Distracted driving includes a lot more than simply holding a phone to make a call. It may take many forms, including visual, cognitive and manual. The participation in a rolling retest creates all three types of distractions. When a person’s eyes, mind and hands are all taken away from driving, the distraction is at its peak. There have even been documented instances in which vehicle accidents have resulted due to a person’s participation in a rolling retest with an ignition interlock device.