The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles recently closed the public comment period for Ignition Interlock Device Standards and is taking steps to require two major changes to certified ignition interlock devices.
One change that the Department of Motor Vehicles is implementing requires all ignition interlock devices installed on or after June 1, 2015, to have a camera installed that will take and save photographs of the person who is using the ignition interlock device.
The second change requires all ignition interlock devices that are installed on or after January 1, 2015, to be based on electro-chemical fuel sensor technology as opposed to being based on semi-conductor technology. This change is being done to bring Oregon standards in-line with standards recently adopted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Electro-chemical fuel sensor technology is more expensive than semi-conductor technology, but it is believed that semi-conductor technology is less reliable and has a higher rate of “false positives” (signaling the presence of alcohol even when none is present in the breath sample).
The Department of Motor Vehicles stated in a recent email that:
The comments that we received helped greatly in DMV determining to require cameras with all newly installed ignition devices as of June 1, 2015…Comments from district attorneys, judges and evaluation specialists all pointed out that currently there is a problem with drivers on diversion who have failed test(s) and the lack of actual proof of who blew into the device at the time of the failure.
The comments also supported the requirements that all newly installed devices on or after January 1, 2015 must be based on electro-chemical fuel sensor technology and must meet or exceed the standards established by the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, effective May 8, 2014.
The Oregon Transportation Commission meets in August and part of its agenda will be to approve these proposed changes. Assuming approval, ignition interlock providers will be notified of the new rules in late August and they will go into effect during 2015.