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Can ignition interlock devices help prevent future DUIs?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2024 | DUI

In Washington State, driving under the influence carries serious penalties that escalate with the severity of the offense and the number of prior convictions. Penalties for a DUI can include jail time, hefty fines and the suspension or revocation of the driver’s license.

First-time offenders face shorter jail terms and lower fines compared to those with multiple DUI offenses.

Role of ignition interlock devices

An ignition interlock device is a breath tester installed in a vehicle to prevent someone who has consumed alcohol from driving. The state of Washington mandates installing an IID for all DUI convictions as part of the effort to reduce repeat offenses.

How ignition interlock devices work

The IID requires the driver to provide a breath sample before starting the engine. If any alcohol is detected in the breath sample, the vehicle will not start. Additionally, the device requires random samples while the vehicle is in operation to ensure that the driver remains sober throughout their journey.

Benefits and challenges

The primary benefit of an IID is that it allows DUI offenders to regain their driving privileges while ensuring they drive sober. However, the device does come with challenges, including the cost of installation and maintenance, as well as adjusting to the routine of providing breath samples.

DUI penalties in Washington State aim to deter drunk driving. Ignition interlock devices play an important role in these efforts. This approach balances public safety with the needs of individuals who may depend on their vehicles for daily responsibilities such as employment.