Repeat DUI offense reduction goal of IIDs
Oregon drivers that are convicted of driving under the influence face some harsh consequences. Some, but not all, first-time offenders may be eligible for the state’s DUII diversion program but anyone with a prior conviction will not qualify for this option.
Throughout the nation, the use of ignition interlock devices are part of the penalty set for a DUII conviction is common. In Oregon, even people who have only one DUII conviction are required to have this device installed once their driving privileges are reinstated. The purpose of the IID is to prevent any repeat driving while under the influence.
New option for IIDs encouraged by NHTSA
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has indicated its support for new technology to be adopted as the norm for the IIDs. Advances now make ignition interlock devices much easier for people to use as well as less intrusive overall with a more streamlined design.
The call for these new units to be utilized comes on the heels of the release of 2012 statistics that show the first increase in nationwide highway deaths since 2005. The increase has highlighted a wish to further reduce such fatalities.
Understanding how IIDs work
When a person receives a DUII conviction, his or her driving privileges may be revoked for some period of time. Upon reinstatement of those privileges, an ignition interlock device can be required.
This is a two-part unit with the main component being essentially a Breathalyzer that is to be located on the dash of a vehicle. The second portion is a computer chip which is put directly into the ignition. The two pieces communicate with each other as follows:
- Every time a driver gets into the vehicle, he or she must breathe into the dash-mounted unit.
- That unit records and sends the blood alcohol content to the ignition chip.
If the BAC is under the threshold, the chip unlocks the ignition, allowing the car to be started.
- If the BAC is over the threshold, the chip keeps the ignition locks and prevents the vehicle from being started and driven.
Even after a successful test, follow-up tests known as rolling retests will be required. If one of these registers a BAC over the threshold, the chip will instigate the horn to honk and lights to flash until the driver stops the car and turns off the ignition. The ignition will then remain locked until another test is passed.
Legal experience matters
The strict nature of Oregon’s DUII laws and the severity of the penalties make it important than anyone who has been arrested for drunk driving to work with an attorney. Finding the right level of criminal law experience may make a big difference in the ultimate results.