If you’ve been arrested on a charge DUI in Virginia, you may be facing fines, fees, jail time—and having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. Even if this is your first offense, Virginia law will require you to have one of these devices in your car if you’re convicted. So it’s important you understand what this device is, what Virginia law requires, and how an attorney may be able to help.
Interlock Devices Connect to Your Car’s Computer
An ignition interlock is a small device that pairs with your vehicle’s electronic system to control the car’s starting capabilities. To drive a car with an ignition interlock device installed, the driver must:
- Blow into the small, plastic tube attached to the device, which then executes a breath test to verify the driver’s sobriety.
- Turn the key to fire up the engine. The car will not start if the driver failed the initial test.
- Pass intermittent breath tests while on the road, called rolling re-tests. If the driver fails these tests, the car will start flashing its lights and honking—which forces the driver to pull over and stop driving.
Virginia Law Requires Interlock Devices
In 2012, Virginia revised its DUI laws related to ignition interlock devices. Previously, only repeat DUI offenders and those whose blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.15% or higher were required to have an interlock device installed in their vehicles. Now, even first-time DUI offenders who apply for a restricted license to get to work or school are subject to the same penalty. Virginia requirements include:
- Having the device installed by an approved vendor in each vehicle owned or driven by the offender.
- Taking the device in for maintenance and calibration every month for a minimum of six months.
- Going through the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP).
It’s also important to mention that—in addition to punitive fines and court fees—the initial installation of the interlock device can cost around $65, and each monthly maintenance visit may cost approximately $85.
Find a Trustworthy DUI Attorney
If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, you must contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. The team at Tavss Fletcher can review the details of your case and may be able to help you avoid or reduce penalties. To speak with our firm, start a live chat on our website today.