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Fatal Texas accident occurs while driver uses ignition interlock

The consequences of drunk driving may become evident in strange and unexpected ways. While it is common to hear of accidents resulting from a driver who has been drinking, a bizarre and tragic accident recently occurred involving a man who was apparently distracted by a device intended to ensure he did not drive drunk. The accident claimed the life of a promising Texas student.

Ignition interlock devices are often part of court-ordered penalties for those convicted of DUI. The driver must blow into the device before attempting to start the car, and the ignition will lock if any alcohol is detected on the driver's breath. Additionally, the driver must periodically blow into the device while driving, which is meant to deter drivers from consuming alcohol after the vehicle is in motion. A 31-year-old man was allegedly attempting to provide a breath specimen, taking his eyes off the road, when he slammed into the side of a car.

The car was driven by a popular 18-year-old woman who was backing out of a friend's driveway. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital a short time after the accident. Police records indicate the driver of the other car had two convictions for DWI, resulting in the installation of the ignition interlock system. Ironically, the driver was not impaired at the time of this accident.

While the investigation continues, Texas police are looking at many factors, such as speed and distraction. This is apparently the first known incident where an ignition interlock has been blamed for distracting a driver resulting in an accident. The families of victims of car accidents have a right to seek answers to their questions. With the help of an attorney, they may also find ways to seek compensation through the civil courts.

Source:, "Arlington teen laid to rest as questions swirl around 'ignition interlock,' speed in accident", Todd Unger, Nov. 21, 2017

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