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The dangers of ignition interlocks required by Louisiana law

In certain situations, Louisiana law requires you to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle and then blow into the device before you can start your vehicle. If the device does not detect a prohibited level of alcohol in your system, you can start your car up and drive off, but you will have to provide additional breath samples while you’re driving in order to prove you’re not drinking while you’re behind the wheel.

The rolling retests are random and require you to take a hand off of the steering wheel, put the device to your mouth and blow. If you fail the test or do not take the rolling retest, your vehicle will go into “panic mode” with flashing headlights and honking horn until you pull over and turn the engine off. This is what life is like for those required to install an ignition interlock device after a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction.

As we all know, distracted driving is a major cause of motor vehicle crashes throughout the nation. The problem with ignition interlocks is that they’re a major distraction that can result in car wrecks, injuries and fatalities.

According to a recent New York Times investigation into the effectiveness of ignition interlock devices, law enforcement efforts to solve on problem – drunk driving – can distract drivers and end in violent vehicle crashes.

Though the companies that make and install the devices advise drivers to pull over to take the retests, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of the tests occur while the vehicle is moving down streets, roads, highways and interstates – all while focused on the device rather than traffic.

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