Not too long ago, our North Carolina car accident firm wrote about the potential dangers of requiring drivers to submit to “rolling retests” of the ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle.
These devices have become more common as a sentencing requirement for those convicted of drunk driving in many states, including North Carolina. The device itself is similar to a breathalyzer and measures the blood alcohol level in a person’s system.
When an individual has been court-ordered to have an IID, the device is installed in their vehicle. Data from the device is sent to the law enforcement agency that is overseeing the person’s sentence. In order to start the vehicle, the driver must blow into the device. If no alcohol is detected, the vehicle will start. If there is alcohol, the vehicle will not start.
There is also a requirement for the driver to perform rolling retests as they are driving. The device will emit a signal at random times and the driver has a very short window of time to grab and blow into the device. In some cases, the driver will have enough time to safely pull over and take the tests, but there are many situations where the driver will not be able to pull over and are then forced to do the test while they are driving.
Failure to do so results in a report being sent to whoever is monitoring the driver. Too many failures result in the driver losing the IID privileges and being unable to legally drive at all.
Fatal Crash from IID
Critics of rolling retests say they greatly increase the risk of the driver causing a vehicle crash because they are too distracted and pressured to quickly take the retest. This is exactly what recently happened in one tragic crash in Texas that resulted in the death of an 18-year-old girl.
According to reports from law enforcement, the young victim was backing her vehicle out her driveway when a Chevy Silverado pickup truck slammed into her Toyota Camry. The driver of the truck told police he had been distracted because the IID in his vehicle had signaled for him to take a retest and that he was in the process of blowing into the IID when the smashed into the victim’s vehicle.
The victim was rushed to a local hospital but died a week later from the severity of the injuries she sustained. Police say the driver of the pickup was not impaired at the time of the crash and as of this writing no charges have been filed against him.
Contact a Carolinas Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driving, contact a skilled North Carolina car accident attorney to discuss what type of financial compensation you may be entitled to for your injuries.