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Common DWI penalty increases distracted driving risk

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2020 | DWI |

If you are like many people in North Carolina, enjoying a casual drink now and then is just a normal part of life. Whether having a beer with colleagues after work on a Friday, joining friends for happy hour, hosting a family gathering or more, there is nothing actually illegal about having a drink and then driving home. The legality of this type of action only comes into play when a person’s blood alcohol level exceeds a certain threshold. Even in these circumstances, defendants have rights that must be protected. 

Many people who end up facing driving while intoxicated charges are required to install and use ignition interlock devices. These items are intended to prevent subsequent acts of impaired driving. However, a report has now found that the very devices touted as increasing safety actually reduce safety by forcing people to drive while distracted. 

Car and Driver magazine explains that after a person has passed a breath test and been allowed to start their vehicle’s engine, they will be prompted at random times to provide subsequent breath samples even while they are in traffic. This requires them to take a hand off the wheel, divert their eyes to the ignition interlock device breath device and focus their attention on passing the mandated test, resulting in manual, visual and cognitive distractions and increasing the chance of an accident. 

If you would like to learn more about how you might protect yourself when facing allegations of driving while intoxicated, please feel free to visit the drunk driving offenses page of our North Carolina DWI and criminal defense website.