New Ignition Interlock Devices May Test For More Than Alcohol Impairment

Ignition interlock devices are already mandated in many DUI situations by most states, including Colorado, but it looks like they may actually start to be expanded in functionality in order to be able to detect not only alcohol impairment, but also impairment due to prescription medications as well.

The ignition interlock is a device which is often ordered to be installed on the vehicles of a DUI offender in order to allow them to drive while their license is suspended as long as they have the device which monitors their blood alcohol installed in their vehicle. These devices can be installed at the auto shop. Fort Collins Foreign Car Service provides installation services for ignition interlock devices.

But, some states are making moves to include more types of drugs in the detection abilities of the ignition interlock devices. Tennessee is one of the states that is including new legislation that would create a zero tolerance for prescription drug impairment in drivers. The state also made waves recently when it passed legislation that requires that interlock devices have a camera integrated into them that snaps a picture of the driver when they are using the breathalyzer mouthpiece. This is designed to avoid the case where a sober person blows into the device for the driver so that they can start the vehicle.

With this legislation, one wonders how far off devices that detect impairment from other drugs might be. Prescription drugs can often cause impairment that is just as dangerous as that which is caused by alcohol. In states like Washington and Colorado, which have now partially legalized marijuana, one wonders how long it will take before we see quick detection devices like a breathalyzer that are designed for marijuana impairment. Lawmakers are already struggling to establish a standard for marijuana impairment in Colorado, which is made more difficult by the fact that differing tolerance for the drug makes it difficult to set one measure for impairment which applies to all types of marijuana users.

The new devices could be installed in those who were convicted of a DUI, or even installed pre-emptively in other vehicles. They would likely continue to be installed at the auto shop for a fee that would be paid by the individual who was convicted of the DUI.