If you have been charged with a driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated offense, you may be facing the loss of your driving privileges at some point. If this happens, you will want to know if or how you may be able to get around so you can get to or from work, school and other important appointments. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to use an ignition interlock device in exchange for reinstating your driving privileges. 

An IID system includes a handheld device and a chip that communicates between the device and your vehicle’s ignition. You must use the device to provide a breath sample and pass the test every time you want to drive. Your ignition will not be allowed to start unless you do this. Once you are driving, however, you will need to be ready at any time to receive a prompt from the device signaling your need to take another test. 

As explained by Car and Driver magazine, these rolling retests pose classic distracted driving risks. For starters, the device into which you blow must be held and operated by your hand, causing a manual distraction. You have to take your eyes off the road so you can read the display and follow instructions. You also have to pay close attention to every step in the process, so you do not make an error. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to educate people convicted of drunk driving offenses about the uniquely challenging situations they may be put in when ordered to install and use an ignition interlock device.