It is an unfortunate truth that many drivers on American roads today are not in good shape to drive, and drivers who are intoxicated, on drugs, or distracted with electronic devices are heavily impaired and often get into car wrecks or hit pedestrians or traffic, and this results in some fatalities and many injuries every year. Drunk drivers do not have the coordination, judgment, or focus needed to drive safely on the roads, and for this reason, merely driving with a high BAC, or blood alcohol content, is itself a crime even if the drunk driver does not hit anyone or anything. And getting into a wreck can only worsen a drunk driver’s position, and a drunk driver may face stiff penalties in court, especially if they do not have a criminal defense lawyer backing up their case. Drunk drivers may sometimes end up incarcerated and/or paying very steep fines, but there are alternatives to this. A criminal defense lawyer may argue for a car breathalyzer being installed in the offender’s car instead, and an interlock device can be installed in the ignition. Ignition interlock devices can prevent future drunk driving in that car, but ignition interlock malfunction is a problem that some drivers may face. What should a person do if they experience an ignition interlock malfunction? And how often to Americans drive drunk?
Drinking and Driving
Driving while intoxicated, or DWI, is a common conviction in criminal courts today, and drunk driving happens tragically often. It is estimated that as many as 300,000 cases of drunk driving happen per day, but fewer than 4,000 arrests will be made by state troopers or police officers on the scene. A drunk driver will have poor coordination and judgment on the road, and this vastly increases their odds of hitting another car or pedestrian, and they are more likely to fail to notice another car or avoid it, and thus they may get into a collision. Drunk drivers may often also run red lights or stop signs or even sway between different lanes, and such unsteady driving is often a giveaway to police officers who see them. Many people are injured due to drunk driving across the United States every year, and as many as 28 people on average will be killed due to intoxicated drivers. A driver may get pulled over and arrested for drunk driving whether or not they got into a wreck. By law, a BAC of 0.08% constitutes drunk driving. Some states have even lower thresholds than that.
Drinking and the Law
A person who faces criminal charges for drinking and driving may have difficulty navigating the criminal court system, but they can look to criminal defense law firms nearby for help in their case. Some criminal law firms specialize in certain crimes, such as DWI, sex offenses, or white-collar crimes, so someone who faces drunk driving charges can find a law firm for this and get consultations with the lawyers there (this may or may not incur a fee). Once a lawyer is hired, the accused can start developing a defense. In court, the accused’s legal representative may argue for reduced penalties, especially for a first-time offender, and the lawyer may exchange jail time for a car breathalyzer and interlock system be placed in the offender’s car.
This way, the offender can still drive and have some freedom of movement while not being able to drive drunk again. The person will submit breath samples in the breathalyzer to prove that their have not been drinking. Failure means that the car’s ignition will not start. But sometimes, ignition interlock malfunction may occur, and ignition interlock malfunction may happen sometimes due to low battery; in this case, the user can put the device into sleep mode during cold weather. Or, if the vehicle stalls, the driver is urged to shut it off and then turn it back on (without submitting a breath sample) and wait a few minutes before providing their breath sample so that there will be no issues. Often, ignition interlock malfunction can be reported to the court in serious cases, so that someone can be sent to repair the device and get it back into fine working order.