Virginia Ignition Interlock Device
If you are convicted of driving while impaired (DWI) in Virginia, it may be a long time before you can drive a normal vehicle—because once you’re found guilty of DWI, you will be required have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle.
What’s an ignition interlock device?
In simple terms, an ignition interlock device is a type of breath testing device that is installed in your vehicle. Once the device is in place, you will be unable to operate your vehicle until you perform a breath test. If the test reveals that you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.02% or more, the engine will lock and the vehicle’s horn and lights will go off.
Of course, your vehicle will remain operable as long as you pass the breath test. However, after starting the engine, you must also take several “rolling retests” while you are driving—this is to ensure you don’t have someone else take the test for you. If you fail the test, you can be called back to court and face additional penalties—including possible jail time—as a result.
If you are ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be notified and a restricted license will be issued to you. Although this license allows you to retain your driving privileges, it also prohibits you from driving any vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device installed in it. If you are caught operating a vehicle without the device, you will once again face additional penalties for violating the terms of your sentence.
Costs of an ignition interlock device
It is important to know that you are responsible for any and all expenses that go along with an ignition interlock device. From the initial installation fee to monthly rental and maintenance charges, the device can cost you several hundreds of dollars or more. Along with the cost of the device itself, you must also pay to have an electronic log installed in your vehicle so that the court can monitor your test results.
As you can see, having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle is not only burdensome—it can also be quite expensive. If you were recently arrested for DWI, it is important to obtain legal representation immediately if you want to avoid the embarrassment and cost of an ignition interlock device. With the right defense strategy, you just may be able to challenge your arrest and get your charges reduced or dismissed in court.