After being arrested for and charged with a drunk driving offense in Virginia, people understandably want to learn as much as possible about the potential consequences they may encounter if ultimately convicted. The use of an ignition interlock device is one such potential consequence. As explained by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, even a first conviction for driving under the influence may result in the required use of an IID.

What is life like with an ignition interlock device? Intoxalock, a manufacturer of IID units, indicates that vehicles are not able to be started until a breath test is successfully passed. A Drivers must blow into handheld units that then communicate the results to chips that control the ignitions. If a breath test indicates a level of alcohol higher than the allowable amount, the ignition will not start. Levels below that threshold will allow the starting of vehicles.

Once on the road, drivers will be required to take additional tests at random times. These rolling retests may be done while driving despite distracted driving laws. If a rolling retest is failed, a vehicle’s lights may flash and the horn honk until it is brought to a stop.

Some foods, especially sugary items like pastries, may result in false positives for breath tests and should be avoided before or while driving. Drivers should also be careful about mouthwashes or toothpaste as using them too soon before taking a test may interfere with accurate results. For this reason, people who must use IIDs may well have to adjust their habits.