An Evaluation of Drivers Using an Ignition Interlock Device: Breath Tests While Driving

The threat of drunk drivers on our nation’s highways has led to the proliferation of court-mandated ignition interlock devices (IIDs), which test the driver for alcohol consumption before ignition and during operation of the vehicle. Previous research has already demonstrated the distraction potential of IIDs. Litigation has suggested that this difficulty is particularly severe for individuals with small lung capacity, such as women and smokers. The current research sought to augment the previous distraction finding while also comparing men and women in terms of their ability to successfully use a Lifesafer FC-100 interlock device. Results showed that women had significantly less success in providing adequate breath samples to successfully operate the interlock device while driving, and supported previous distraction findings. Implications as well as suggestions for and challenges of further research are provided.

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