Every 51 minutes, someone dies in a drunk driving accident. This amounts to more than 10,000 deaths annually due to a drunk driver, according to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
The majority of fatal car accidents involving alcohol, NHTSA noted the drunk driver had a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of more than double the legal limit of 0.08.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than 7,000 lives could be saved each year if no one drove with a BAC over .08. As such, a federal law that went into effect gives incentive for the use of ignition-interlock devices.
An ignition interlock is a device attached to the ignition of one’s car that prevents a driver from starting a car until the driver has blown into a sensor and registered a BAC under .08 – thus preventing a drunk driving accident.
Since a new transportation law has been put in place, all states that require interlock devices for drivers convicted of DWI will now receive extra funding. Currently 17 states have laws requiring use of ignition interlock devices for first-time drunk drivers as a condition of getting their driving privileges back. The exact BAC settings vary, based on the state. Some have zero-tolerance and others are allow some alcohol content, but it must be under the legal limit.
Drivers have to bear the cost of having the device installed, as well as monthly fees to maintain it. Safety officials believe that use of such devices not only prevent repeated drunk driving accidents, but also deter others from driving after having had a few too many drinks. About 146,000 ignition interlock devices are currently being used in the United States.
§§20-17.8(a), (b) and (c)
§20-179.3(g3) and (g5)
Persons eligible for restricted driving privileges may be required to operate motor vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device. This requirement is mandatory if the BAC was greater than 0.16 or if the person is a second or subsequent offender (within 7 years).
After license restoration, required ignition interlock usage is as follows: 1 year if license revocation was for 1 year; 3 years if license revocation was for 4 years; and 7 years if the license was permanently revoked but can be restored.
Tampering or attempting to circumvent the interlock system is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
The Department of Motor Vehicles must require the person, if a subsequent offender, to install an ignition interlock device. The DMV may waive the requirements of this section if it finds that the offender has a medical condition that makes him incapable of properly operating the installed device.
The length of time that an interlock device is required to be affixed to a motor vehicle following the completion of a period of license suspension imposed on the offender is 2 years for a second offense, 3 years for a third offense, and the remainder of the offender’s life for a fourth or subsequent offense. Notwithstanding the pleadings, for purposes of a second or a subsequent offense, the specified length of time that an interlock device is required to be affixed to a motor vehicle is based on the Department of Motor Vehicle’s records for offenses.
Contact the Auto Accident Law Firm of Bice Law
If you have suffered injury from a vehicle accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law. We investigate the accident records or scene in order to interview key witnesses and document evidence before it has been destroyed or removed. We’ll review your medical records and evaluate your long-term prognosis to assess the amount of damages that your injury warrants. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. We serve families across both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, however, so you must act quickly. Contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law today by calling 877-BICE-877 or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a vehicle accident attorney. Results are how we measure success – we’ve built a strong reputation both in and out of the courtroom, and we’ll put our experience and expertise to work on your behalf