If you've just been convicted of a first-time DUI offense here in Virginia then you know why many people call our state drunk-driving laws some of the toughest in the country. That's because, like so many other people who have been in your position, you're probably facing a court order that is demanding you install an ignition interlock device on at least one of the vehicles you own.
If it's your first DUI though, you probably don't know what to expect with this device. You may have a lot of questions, like the one we're posing above:
How long will an ignition interlock device remain in my car?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. That's because the length of time an ignition interlock device remains in a person's vehicle depends on what a judge orders. When you sign the ignition interlock agreement given to you by the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, you are made aware of this fact. But thankfully, there are some ground rules Virginia judges do follow.
Under § 18.2-270.1 (B) of the Virginia Code, judges may require an ignition interlock device installed for a period of at least six months but no more than the period of time a driver's license is suspended or restricted. This means if you do not receive a conviction for another alcohol-related offense and the amount of time defined by the judge in six months, you may not have an ignition interlock device installed on your car for a considerably long time.
Every case is different though and sometimes, as we have seen, having an attorney at your side during criminal proceedings can make all the difference in cases like this.