Residents in Texas who are arrested for and charged with driving while intoxicated charges may lose their right to drive. The suspension or revocation of a driver’s license may be one of the many penalties associated with a DWI conviction depending on the circumstances. 

Some drivers may have the ability to qualify for a reinstatement of their driving privileges if they install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. The safety of these devices, however, may be questionable in some situations. 

How an ignition interlock device works

An ignition interlock device keeps a lock on a vehicle’s ignition when turned off so that it may only be started once a driver provides a clean, alcohol-free breath sample. As explained by Intoxalock, a provider of ignition interlock devices, the system also prompts a driver to take additional breath tests once they have started their vehicle and are driving. These are called rolling retests and they aim to prevent a person from drinking after passing the first test and starting their vehicle. 

Safety of rolling retests in question

A report by Car and Driver magazine indicates that many vehicle accidents have been linked to a driver’s participation in a rolling retest due to the distractions these tests create for drivers. In short, IIDs may be just one more form of distracted driving that people must be aware of. 

When taking a rolling retest, a driver must remove a hand from the steering wheel to hold the breath test device. They must also divert their eyes and attention away from the road to read and follow all prompts from the system.