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What happens if one must use an ignition interlock device?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2018 | DUI/DWI

When drivers in Virginia are accused of drunk driving, they may rightfully be concerned about what their future holds. After all, there are numerous, undesirable consequences that follow a DUI conviction. One of these is the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.

Under Virginia law, one penalty that a motorist could incur if convicted of drunk driving is having an ignition interlock device placed in their automobile. This device will remain in place until the motorist has had zero drunk driving incidents for at least six months in a row. This could apply to all automobiles the motorist owns.

An ignition interlock device is an instrument that is linked to the automobile’s ignition system that can determine the motorist’s blood alcohol content level. If the motorists BAC is too high, above 0.02 percent, the instrument will keep the automobile from starting. The instrument is also able to execute a “rolling retest,” in which a motorist’s breath will be tested randomly.

The use of an ignition interlock device can commence as soon as a person is convicted. An electronic log device will also be installed that measures the motorists BAC when the motorist tries to start the automobile or during rolling retests. The person will also have to participate in an alcohol safety action program while he or she is required to utilize an ignition interlock device.

This penalty may seem harsh, especially considering that a person whose BAC is just above 0.02 may still be capable of safely driving. Despite that, an ignition interlock device would prevent that person from doing so. This could cause a person to be unable to get to work or run necessary errands, which could snowball into further problems. Therefore, it is important for motorists accused of drunk driving to formulate a strong defense, so they can attempt to avoid a conviction and the subsequent penalties.

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