Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Cameras

A few years ago the Oregon legislature decided to require all individuals participating in DUII diversion to have ignition interlock devices installed in a vehicle they operate while in diversion.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An ignition interlock device, also commonly known as a "blow and go" or IID, is a device attached to the vehicle that requires the operator to blow into a tube connected to a mechanism that will register if there is a level of alcohol on the individual’s breath. If alcohol is determined to be in the individual’s breath (DMV established 0.02% BAC as the requisite level), the mechanism will prevent the vehicle from starting.

Periodically data from the device is downloaded and submitted to the agency that reports to the court about any violations of diversion agreements. A report indicating a violation can include a “negative report” which is a report of tampering with the IID, unauthorized removal of the IID, and lockouts or test violations recorded by the IID. At this point, the court can schedule a show cause hearing, which is a hearing where the individual is required to appear and argue to the court that he or she should not be terminated from diversion because of the alleged violation. One common argument to combat an IID failure or negative report is the diversion participant was not the person who blew into the IID, but rather someone else was attempting to operate the vehicle. Several “fixes” have been proposed to counter this argument. Unfortunately, these fixes inevitably require more money and tend to involve the use of IID cameras.

New Performance Standards for IIDs

The Department of Motor Vehicles, DMV, created an administrative rule requiring all IIDs installed after June 1, 2015 to have a camera. OAR 735-118-0040 establishes performance standards for IIDs. One such standard is that all IIDs newly installed after June 1, 2015 must be equipped with a camera that will capture the photo of the person using the device. Arguments have been levied against IID cameras.  One argument is that the DMV lacks authority to create a requirement for IIDs cameras, but rather it is the legislature who has this authority. An alternative attack against IIDs cameras is the costs associated. Non-camera equipped IIDs can cost anywhere from $70-$125 a month. IIDs with cameras would increase the costs to the diversion participant.

The Oregon legislature also has explored the use of IID cameras. Senate Bill 396 would establish a rule that a judge may require a diversion participant to install an IID equipped with a camera if the person is not terminated from diversion following a show cause hearing. This bill currently is still being debated in committee and has not yet been considered by the full legislature or made it to the governor.

Rob Crow
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Licensed to practice law in all State & Federal Courts in Oregon.
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