Most people understand that operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is deemed unsafe as consuming too much alcohol reduces a person’s ability to appropriately operate a vehicle, to make good decisions while driving or to respond quickly when needed in a driving situation. It would, therefore, seem logical that any penalty handed down to a person convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol be focused on maintaining safety. Oddly, it seems that one commonly utilized consequence of some DUI offenses actually reduces safety.

According to an investigation conducted by The New York Times, ignition interlock devices may now well be linked to new forms of distracted driving. It is well documented that when a driver’s eyes, hands or mind are diverted from the act of driving for any reason, the resulting distraction increases the risk of the driver getting into or causing an accident.

Car and Driver magazine explains that ignition interlock devices require people to pass breath tests before they may start their vehicle engines. However, that is not the only time they must provide breath samples. Tests must also be conducted while a vehicle is running, even if the driver is in the midst of heavy traffic, challenging climate or terrain and more. These tests require a driver to hold the IID unit, read the IID display and concentrate on the testing process to ensure they complete all steps properly.

The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles explains that the use of an IID may be the only way some people can reinstate their driving privileges after a DUI.