If you are like most people, you may believe that some of the penalties associated with a driving under the influence of alcohol charge would emphasize safety. This seems logical given the risks that may be present when a person drives while impaired.
Interestingly, one common consequence of a DUI conviction may actually increase risks to drivers and others on the road.
Ignition interlock devices and rolling retests
You may know that an ignition interlock device keeps a vehicle ignition locked until the driver provides a clean breath sample. However, you may not know that the driver must also take additional breath tests while actively driving.
As explained by Car and Driver magazine, these rolling retests have been identified as a form of distracted driving, even being connected to several vehicle accidents. When taking a rolling retest, a person must hold the breath test device in their hand. They must also divert their eyes away from the road to read the display on the device. Their mental attention also shifts away from driving to ensure they follow all system prompts.
Three forms of driver distraction
Distracted driving may take multiple forms including manual, visual and cognitive distractions. The participation in a rolling retest with an ignition interlock device reflects all three of these distractions at once, making this activity highly dangerous for the person taking the test and anyone else in their vehicle or on the road around them at the time.
More information about ignition interlock devices and other potential elements of an impaired driving conviction may be found at the driver’s rights page of our Virginia driving offenses and criminal defense website.