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Virginia’s New DUI Laws 2021

person driving car

Last summer, Virginia updated its DUI law to allow first-time DUI offenders more flexibility when it came to keeping their driving privileges. Today, July 1st 2021, that flexibility is now being extended to repeat offenders.

The Law for First-Time DUI Offenses

On July 1st, 2020, Virginia put new legislation into effect that granted individuals convicted of a first-offense DUI the option to use an ignition interlock device (IID) and keep their ability to drive.

Before this change, people convicted of a first-time DUI faced a one-year license suspension, and, in some cases, were granted a restricted license allowing them to drive to necessary locations (school, work, etc.).

Under the new law, individuals can drive wherever they want with an “any purpose” restricted license, as long as they have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.

What Is An Ignition Interlock Device?

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer that is built into someone’s car. In order for the car to start, the driver must take the breath test to show there is no alcohol in their system. If the device detects any alcohol, the car will not start.

The ignition interlock device may also prompt the driver to take breath tests while they are driving to prove that they did not begin drinking alcohol after the car was started.

Virginia’s New Option for Repeat Offenders

The law change above was only applicable to first-time DUI convictions. However, as of today, repeat DUI offenders in Virginia have the same opportunity.
The new law states that individuals who were previously ineligible for a restricted license may have the opportunity to also use an IID rather than have their license revoked.

In order to qualify for the “any purpose” restricted license, the driver must follow these requirements:

  • The driver must use a remote alcohol monitoring device for a predetermined length of time.
  • The driver cannot drink alcohol.
  • Each vehicle owned by the driver must be equipped with an IID.

Virginia DUI Lawyers

If you believe that you may qualify for an ignition interlock device under the new law, contact us today. At Tillotson & Martin, LLC, we have extensive experience with Virginia DUI law, and we can work with you to determine whether or not you are eligible.