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What role do ignition interlocks have in Virginia?

Drunk driving convictions in Virginia can lead to an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. There are several things to know about these contraptions and the requirements of the program. Making sure that you are in compliance can prevent you from facing more legal issues.

The ignition interlock program is overseen by the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP), but the device installation and monitoring are handled by private companies. When you are required to have it installed, you have 30 days from the date on the order. Here is some important information about ignition interlocks:

Who has to pay for the device?

You are responsible for all costs of the program. This includes the cost of installation and monthly monitoring. While there is a flat rate of $65 for the installation, not including any insurance on the device, the monthly monitoring charge can vary. Virginia sets a maximum of $80 per monthly appointment for what companies can charge. Taxes and returned check fees are additional.

How long will the device be on my vehicle?

All ignition interlocks must remain on the vehicle for at least six months. If you have a violation recorded on the device, the six-month period starts again. The term of your license suspension or revocation is the longest you can be required to have it. Once your monitoring period is completed, you can have the device removed free of charge.

What does the ignition interlock do?

You have to blow into the ignition interlock for your vehicle to start. If your blood alcohol concentration is .02 percent or greater, the car's engine will not turn over and you may not drive the vehicle.

There are times when you will have to do a rolling retest, which means you will submit a breath sample while you are on the road. You will be given instructions when you have the device installed. All breath test results, as well as any issues, such as not submitting a sample when required, are logged. This information is retrieved by the company and provided to your case worker with ASAP.

On what vehicles does an IID have to be installed?

On a first conviction for driving drunk, it has to be installed on each car that you will drive. On a subsequent conviction, you must have one placed on every vehicle that you own, even if you own certain vehicles with someone else.

Ultimately, this device is meant to prevent drunk driving. While it can be a hassle sometimes, being willing to abide by the terms of the program can be beneficial to you.

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