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DUI penalty may create distracted driving scenarios

On Behalf of | May 27, 2020 | DUI Defense

Residents in Pennsylvania who find themselves facing allegations of drunk driving charges may feel scared about the potential penalties they face and what impact those penalties may have on their life. One issue for many defendants is the potential loss of driving privileges. Without a valid driver’s license, many people can no longer get to or from work. The inability to work may play into a downward spiral that is hard to get out of. 

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles, the state may allow some drunk driving defendants to install an ignition interlock device as part of the process for reinstating their driving privileges after a driving under the influence conviction. In some cases, the use of an IID is mandated by the state after a DUI offense. 

An IID attempts to prevent future impaired driving acts by requiring a person to pass a breath test prior to starting their vehicle’s ignition. What many people do not know, however, is that an ignition interlock device prompts a driver to take additional breath tests while they are driving their vehicle. Car and Driver magazine explains these tests are called rolling retests and are prompted at random times so a driver never knows when they will happen. 

A rolling retest requires a driver’s cognitive attention, eyes and hands to complete, creating significant distractions. Some accidents have even been linked to a driver’s participation in an IID rolling retest. Driving distractions may be manual, visual or cognitive and distractions that involve all three elements are widely acknowledged to be the most serious and dangerous of all.