A charge of driving under the influence of alcohol may carry with it a range of penalties as impaired driving is identified as a dangerous activity that puts other people in harm’s way.

Given this, most people would not think that one of the penalties a driver might face could actually create a new risk for others as well as for himself or herself. Yet, that is exactly what happens when a person must use an ignition interlock device.

Distracted driving with an IID

A report by Car and Driver magazine points out that numerous automobile crashes have been linked to a person’s use of an ignition interlock device. These crashes have occurred when drivers were taking or attempting to take what are called rolling retests.

As the name implies, an IID keeps a vehicle’s ignition locked until a breath test is passed. However, there is another test that drivers must take with an IID and that test happens while they are actively driving. Rolling retests may happen at any time without warning and drivers have but a few minutes to complete them.

Taking a rolling retest creates significant distractions for drivers by taking their hands off the wheel, their eyes off the road and their minds off the act of driving.

IID use in Connecticut

According to the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, a person may be ordered to use an ignition interlock device to reinstate his or her driving privileges after a drunk driving conviction. An IID may also be required after a person refuses to take a chemical test.