Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are a tool used by authorities in preventing drunk driving incidents and improving road safety. However, certain misconceptions and myths surrounding IIDs can hinder their acceptance and effectiveness. If you are facing using an IID in your vehicle, it is important to understand the truth behind what they are, in order to allow one to work most effectively for you. Today’s blog aims to dispel some common myths and promote a better understanding of IIDs for anyone charged with DUI.
Myth 1: IIDs are for repeat offenders only
The first myth is that you have to be a repeat DUI offender to be required to have an IID in your vehicle. However, the reality here in Maryland is that IIDs can be mandated for various situations, including first-time offenses, high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) cases, and even as a condition for license reinstatement.
The goal of implementing IIDs for a more broad range of DUI charges is to prevent future instances of drunk driving, and encourage more responsible behavior from the start. The belief is that by equipping first-time offenders with ignition interlock devices, the risk is minimized for repeat offenses.
Myth 2: IIDs are invasive and inconvenient
Another myth is that ignition interlock devices are overly invasive and inconvenient for the driver. It is true that an IID requires a breath sample before starting the vehicle, but technological advancements have made these devices much more user-friendly and less obtrusive. Today, even the installation process is usually discreet, and the devices are compact and easy to use.
Most IIDs require a small and simple breath sample and the process takes only a few seconds. It is easy to adapt to using an IID and making it part of your daily routine, ensuring both your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Myth 3: IIDs are easy to cheat or manipulate
Many people believe that an ignition interlock device can be easily “cheated,” allowing an individual to start their car even if they have consumed some alcohol. This cannot be further from the truth. IIDs employ technology to both ensure accuracy and prevent tampering. For example, they will utilize sensors or infrared spectroscopy to detect alcohol levels in the breath with precision. These devices also have anti-circumvention measures, some including random re-tests and camera monitoring, to ensure compliance and prevent cheating.
IID manufacturers are continuously enhancing the security features of their devices to stay ahead of potential manipulation attempts. Further, tampering with or attempting to manipulate a device can result in losing your driver’s license or even jail time. This makes trying to cheat an IID a very high-risk proposition – and unlikely to go undetected.
Myth 4: IIDs are too expensive
Cost is another barrier to the widespread acceptance of IIDs. There are indeed costs associated with installing and maintaining ignition interlock devices. However, they are not as prohibitive as you might think. Many providers in Maryland offer discounts or assistance programs. In fact, our very own law office offers a discount on IID fees when you work with us.
Additionally, considering the potential consequences of drunk driving, the cost of IIDs is a worthwhile investment in preventing accidents, injuries, and legal complications. It is important to recognize that the long-term benefits of IIDs far outweigh any initial financial burden, as they contribute to safer roads and can help you responsibly regain your driving privileges.
Myth 5: IIDs don’t reduce recidivism
Some critics argue that IIDs have limited effectiveness in reducing recidivism rates among DUI offenders. However, numerous studies and real-world data have consistently demonstrated the positive impact of IIDs on preventing repeat offenses. For example, the CDC reports that IID use reduces driving while impaired offenses by about 70% while installed. They serve as a constant reminder and deterrent, as individuals must provide a breath sample indicating sobriety before operating their vehicles.
Yet, “Despite these laws and programs, only about one-fifth of those arrested for DWI have interlocks installed.”
How can a DUI defense attorney help?
If you are facing DUI charges, get an experienced defense attorney in your corner as soon as possible. Here are some of the ways a DUI defense attorney can assist you:
- Case evaluation. Your lawyer can review the circumstances surrounding your DUI arrest, including factors like the initial traffic stop, field sobriety tests, breath or blood test results, and other evidence presented by the prosecution. This evaluation can help identify any procedural errors, violations of your rights, or inconsistencies that could weaken the prosecution’s case against you.
- Defense strategy. An attorney can also develop a defense strategy based on the circumstances of your case. This can involve challenging the legality of the traffic stop, questioning the accuracy of the chemical tests, or presenting alternative explanations for any observed signs of impairment.
- Negotiations. Your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. They may be able to secure a plea bargain or alternative sentencing options that minimize the potential penalties you face. This could involve reducing the charges, avoiding jail time, or securing alternative programs such as alcohol education or rehabilitation programs.
- Representing you in court. If your case goes to trial, a DUI defense attorney will provide skilled representation in court. They will present your defense, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge the prosecution’s evidence. Their knowledge of courtroom procedures and experience with DUI cases will be invaluable in presenting a strong defense on your behalf.
- Legal guidance and support. Throughout the entire legal process, your DUI defense lawyer will provide you with expert guidance and support. They will explain the laws, your rights, and the potential consequences you face. They can also advise you on the best course of action, helping you make informed decisions at every stage of your case.
It’s important to remember that every DUI case is unique, and the specific ways in which an attorney can help will depend on the details of your situation. Consulting with a qualified DUI defense attorney will give you a better understanding of how they can assist you and improve your chances of achieving a favorable outcome.
Carey Law Office can help if you have been charged with DUI. To schedule a consultation, call our offices or fill out our contact form. We maintain offices in Bowie, Crofton, and Owings, and also serve all of the surrounding areas as well as Calvert County.
My name is Joe Carey, and I am the founder and principal attorney of the Carey Law Office. I have lived in Maryland my entire life. I grew up in a small town in Prince George’s County and, with the help of my partner in life, Nancy, I raised my family here: three exceptional children (a son and two daughters), and two goofy, spoiled black Labrador Retrievers. Learn More