Ignition Interlock Devices (IID’s) have long been the topic of debate on a few different grounds. Most of the arguments are whether or not these devices serve their purpose. Another discussion that is brought up is the long term effects of utilizing this device and vehicles, both benefits and drawbacks. The arguments on both sides are taken into consideration and are put up against their pros and cons to make the correct determination based on all the facts.
Since the IID’s were initially installed in vehicles, they have faced both praise and opposition. The praise comes from several angles and well overpowers those opposed. These devices have helped lower the number of drunk drivers on the road, and deter repeat DUI offenders from committing another offense. The mechanisms serve as an extended arm of DUI enforcement to protect the people from harming themselves as well as others on the road. In relation to the statistics showing the positive effects of IID’s in obvious numbers, some have taken a step further to try to introduce the devices on a more permanent, and court ordered basis.
Most states use IID’s as an alternate option to sentencing, or only when a repeat offender has been caught again. Several politicians are trying to change that, and try to join other states on permanently installing the devices on people that have been charged with DUI regardless. They believe that using this device for a period of 5 months or more on a vehicle can cause the driver to get in the habit of driving sober all the time, even after the device is removed from the vehicle. Based on this reasoning they are trying to pass bills in their states to have IID’s installed in the vehicles of all people convicted of drunk driving. The argument from the other side comes from the general public mainly, stating that passing such a bill would prevent a judge from making a decision based on character of how to penalize the person charged with the offense.
Meaning, the judge would not have the option to distinguish between a person who seems like a belligerent drunk or one that took an extra sip of a drink that particular day, and punish the person based on that. Still, those in favor of the bill state that the BAC reading taken from their offense, as well as the police report, can show those things to a judge. Using that information, they can base the length of the installment of the device on the vehicle. Those in favor of the passing of such bills, and court ordered device installation seem to have a much more structured, and well prepared argument supporting their decision. Some states already require the installation of a device within a certain time period after one has been charged with a drunk driving offense.
For the most part, the Ignition Interlock Device seems to be an extremely positive means of helping lower the rate of drunk drivers out on the road. In direct response to the data provided as proof, more states are joining in on making these devices mandatory for DUI offenders, and most likely more will with time.