Criminal Defense Lawyer Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads
Criminal Defense Lawyer Norfolk, VA and throughout Hampton Roads

DUI Ignition Interlock Devices in Virginia

Norfolk DUI defense lawyers explain rules

If you have been charged and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Virginia, the presiding judge must order you to install an ignition interlock device in order to continue to drive on a restricted license. In some cases, it’s not even up to the judge. Many DUI convictions mandate that an ignition interlock device be installed for a certain amount of time in order for the driver to be able to drive again without restrictions.

So what exactly are these devices? How do they work? And how much do they cost? If you have been ordered to install an ignition interlock device in Virginia, you probably have a lot of questions. That’s why it’s critical that you have accurate information.

We can help. Our dedicated Virginia DUI defense attorneys at Welch & Wright, PLLC understand how the legal system works in drunk driving cases, including the rules and regulations that apply to ignition interlock devices. So whatever stage you’re at in your DUI defense case, don’t wait to find out what happens. Contact us. We can explain all the legal options available to you.

What is an ignition interlock device?

An ignition interlock device is a machine that’s installed in a vehicle and controls whether someone can start the car. The rules and regulations governing ignition interlock devices in Virginia can be found in Virginia Code 8.2-270.1. Ignition interlock systems; penalty.

In order to start a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device, the driver must blow into a mouthpiece, which then measures how much alcohol is in the driver’s breath. If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above 0.02 percent – which is far below the general legal BAC limit of 0.08 percent – the vehicle will not start. The driver must then wait about 5 to 15 minutes to take a BAC breath test again to try to start the vehicle.

In addition, ignition interlock devices in Virginia require drivers to take a random “rolling retest” while driving. These random tests require the driver to breathe into the device when notified while driving. You have about 5 minutes to take the rolling retest – the idea is to give you time to park or pull over if you’re not comfortable blowing into the device while driving. The goal of the rolling retest is to ensure that you can’t simply have someone else blow into the device before you get on the road.

How much do ignition interlock devices cost in Virginia?

Fees vary from one company to another, but in general, the costs associated with an ignition interlock device in Virginia include:

  • Court administrative cost – $20
  • Initial installation fee – Up to $50
  • Monthly fee –$60 to $100 per month

Add all these expenses up and your ignition interlock device can easily cost you hundreds of dollars, especially if you must have it installed in your vehicle for 12 months or longer due to a DUI conviction.

Who’s required to install an ignition interlock device?

Even someone convicted of DUI for the first time in Virginia might be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. But if this is your second or third DUI conviction within 5 years, Virginia law mandates that drivers must install an ignition interlock device, according to Virginia Code 46.2-391(A).

How long do I have to have an ignition interlock device?

The length of time you’re required to have the ignition interlock device depends on a number of factors, including the judge’s ruling, how many times you have been convicted of DUI in the past 10 years and your BAC at the time of your arrest. The possible timelines include:

  • First DUI conviction – Ignition interlock device installed for 6 months up to 1 year, depending on your BAC level when arrested.
  • Second DUI conviction within 10 years – 6 months to 3 years, depending on your BAC.
  • Third DUI conviction within 10 years – 6 months to as long as your driver’s license is restricted.

Know your rights. Contact our law firm

Ignition interlock devices can be an expensive hassle. The last thing you probably want to worry about Virginia is having to blow into a device every time you want to start your car.

That’s why it’s critical that you fully understand your rights and your legal options. That’s why you need to talk to a Virginia DUI defense attorney at our law firm. The sooner you contact our law firm, the more options you often have.

Don’t delay. Call today and schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Norfolk, Virginia DUI defense lawyer who gets results. We handle DUI cases in the Hampton Roads area and statewide.

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