Imagine having a video camera in the vehicle of a person as he is driving drunk. Well this is exactly what an ignition interlock system will do for future DUI prosecutions. If an offender has an ignition interlock device installed in his car, it would literally be a slam-dunk for the prosecution. Because interlock devices are equip with a camera and a breathlyzer that is recording the driver’s BAC, all the evidence is right there. It is almost equivalent to having a video camera watching the person commit a crime.
Using an ignition interlock device eliminates the need to have to rely on a police officer’s opinion during trial. DUI defense attorneys often take apart a DUI case by discrediting the police officer who pulled over a DUI offender. Many times, the police officer may have performed a test incorrectly, or failed to inform the driver that a field sobriety test is optional.
The ignition interlock device also requires the driver to take a breathalyzer test. So the DUI offender does not have the option to refuse the test. Normally, if the driver refuses, prosecutors will have to rely on the testimony of the police officer to convict the DUI offender of a crime. With an ignition interlock system there is no need to rely on that testimony. The device will give the exact BAC of the driver at various times during his or her travels. DUI defense attorneys will have a very difficult time contradicting this evidence at trial.
Another issue often attacked by the defense during a DUI case is faulty equipment. Maybe the breathalyzer machine was not properly calibrated. The ignition interlock device must be calibrated on a regular basis as part of the maintenance of the machine. If the DUI offender does not go in for regularly scheduled maintenance, the device will register a violation that goes to his or her probation officer or judge. So arguing that an interlock system was faulty will not work for the defense.
Another violation that the ignition interlock device will record is if the DUI offender tries to tamper with the equipment. This is also evidence that can be used against the person if they do drink and drive again. Because the technology has gotten so advanced, it is nearly impossible to circumvent the system. Therefore any and all attempts at tampering will be recorded and can be used at a future trial if necessary.
An ignition interlock system will act as a huge benefit to prosecutors in future DUI cases. There is no doubt that a driver who commits a DUI in a vehicle equip with an ignition interlock system is in serious trouble. Even if the device is eventually removed, the records of any and all violations when the device was in place can be used in a trial if the DUI offender is arrested AFTER the ignition interlock system has been taken out of his or her car.