A significant portion of the individuals who commit a particular crime will eventually commit the same crime or a similar one again in the future. In the justice system, this phenomenon is known as recidivism. Courts attempt to combat recidivism with policies that increase penalties for second and third offenses. They also sometimes order counseling or similar services to help.
Impaired drivers are often individuals who repeatedly violate the law. After all, driving while impaired (DWI) charges are frequently associated with alcohol dependence or addiction that an individual does not currently have under control. Simply pleading addiction will not protect you from the legal consequences of a DWI.
However, there are certain programs in the state that can mitigate the consequences you must deal with after a DWI conviction, including the loss of your license and freedom.
Ignition interlock devices help to prevent recidivism
Ignition interlock devices (IIDS) are a relatively new technology that helps to keep the roads safer. They are effectively breath test systems that you can install in your car, usually after a court order related to an impaired driving conviction. An IID helps prevent someone who has had even a few drinks from driving their vehicle.
You have to perform a negative alcohol test before you can start the vehicle because the device is part of the ignition system. The device may then also require intermittent testing while you drive. That helps prevent individuals from gaming the system by having a friend or co-worker blow into the IID for them before they start the vehicle.
Obviously, the primary goal of an IID is to ensure that those who are struggling with alcohol addiction don't make decisions that imperil the general public. By preventing someone from starting their vehicle, an IID helps prevent someone with a history of impaired driving from getting behind the wheel again after a few drinks.
An IID helps a person with a DWI conviction, too
Clearly, an IID serves to protect the public from individuals who can't control their habits regarding drinking and then drive themselves home or to work. However, an IID isn't just a punishment for an individual who has a history of impaired driving. Looking at it that way won't benefit anyone dealing with a DWI.
It is also a tool that helps those dealing with a DWI charge establish and maintain their independence. Without an IID, you would likely not have the ability to regain your license so quickly. That could mean complications with your job, to say nothing of the impact on your social life. Although an IID involves a restricted license, it still offers you more freedom than simply losing your license as a result of an impaired driving charge.