Can DUI Offenders Find a Way Around the Interlock Device?

Drunk drivers are still a scourge on the highways today, even after decades of campaigning by organizations like MADD. With one person dying due to a driver under the influence nearly every hour, the problem is still a major concern in the US; in fact, it is a serious traffic issue affecting two of out of three people in their lifetimes—and all too often, ending in tragedy.

Drivers who register a blood alcohol level of .08 or more when stopped by law enforcement are usually charged with DUI. Not only can other travelers be killed or seriously injured due to the impaired judgment of someone driving under the influence, the legal consequences can be severe for those practicing such criminal behavior. They may have to pay for a bond to get out of jail and numerous other fines, along with having their driver’s licenses suspended. After a certain period, drivers may be able to get their licenses back, but with certain stipulations. It is usually required that they have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle, and they may have to keep it for as long as a few months, a few years, or more—depending on the number of offenses.

You may wonder how effective such a device is, however, if all is needed is someone sober to blow into it so that the car will start (or keep going after a ‘rolling test’ where the driver must either blow into the device while driving, or pull over), couldn’t anyone do that? Feasibly, the answer is yes, but the owner of the car is asking for trouble as there are major penalties for tampering with the device—although in most cases it is okay for someone else to drive the car if they are sober. Depending on the ignition interlock device, there may be complex anti-tampering features built in—and these can even include a tiny camera. Having someone else blow into a device and fail also causes a host of complications and could cause the driver to lose their license or even go back to jail.

Many other tricks have been tried over time to ‘fool’ the IID, and they almost always fail—whether drivers attempt to eat strong-smelling foods to overpower the device, drink mouthwash (which usually has alcohol in it and may cause an epic ‘fail’) or employ other myths that make no sense. The IID measures blood alcohol level, and until it has returned to normal, the driver must wait. Hopefully, most drivers with IIDs are working on sobriety programs and understand the rules, and consequences, should they break them.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.