If you've been convicted of a DUI in Virginia, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. The machine works by preventing the car from starting if the level of alcohol in your system is above a certain level. If alcohol is detected, the fail will be logged. However, these machines are not infallible, and errors could lead to an inaccurate readout.
At Tillotson & Martin, our Newport News & Virginia Beach DUI attorneys are here to help you understand the ignition interlock device processes and requirements in Virginia. We have over 40 years of combined experience and wrote the book on DWI law that judges, prosecutors, and other lawyers in the state refer to. Additionally, Attorney Martin is designated an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, and we understand the science concerning in these types of matters.
If you're involved in a DUI case and are wondering if you might need an ignition interlock device installed in your car, call us at (757) 568-7978. We offer a free initial consultation.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is a small machine attached to your vehicle's electrical system. Before you can start your car, you must blow into the mouthpiece. The device will analyze your breath sample to determine whether or not you have alcohol in your system.
For your car to start, your blood alcohol content (BAC) must be below .02. If you blow above that, you must wait 5 to 15 minutes before you can provide another breath sample.
Throughout your drive, the ignition interlock device will prompt you to give additional breath samples. You have 5 minutes to blow into the machine. If you don't, the device will record that as a fail. Additionally, your horn will beep and your lights will flash until you pull over and stop your vehicle.
The challenging part about the rolling retests is that it's not always easy or safe to pull over within 5 minutes of the prompt. That means even if you weren't intentionally trying to avoid giving a breath sample, you might face sanctions.
If you fail the test, meaning you blow above .02 or you don't provide a random breath sample, ASAP may send this information to the court. You may be required to reappear before a judge and face a jail sentence, or you could be ordered to participate in additional alcohol treatment.
How Much Does an Ignition Interlock Device Cost?
Various authorized providers install, calibrate, and remove ignition interlock devices. Thus, prices will vary.
Typically, costs for ignition interlock devices are as follows:
- Installation: around $50
- Removal: around $50
- Monthly calibration: around $100
At Tillotson & Martin, we encourage clients to contact several providers and compare prices and installation times.
If I'm Convicted of a DUI in Virginia, Is an Ignition Interlock Required?
Whether or not you'll be required to have an ignition interlock depends on your circumstances. If it's your first DUI offense, the machine isn't required. However, if you want a restricted driver's license, you must have an ignition interlock on your vehicle, even if it's your first DUI.
How Long Do I Need an Ignition Interlock Device?
The amount of time you're required to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle depends on the judge's orders. According to Virginia Code 18.2-270.1(B), the minimum period is 6 months. Generally, this is what judges impose.
However, if you had a high BAC or multiple DUIs, you may be required to have the device on your vehicle for a full year.
A new 2020 law states that those convicted with a DUI 1st with a BAC under a .15 may agree to ignition interlock for a full year in exchange for driving anywhere at anytime without further restrictions like “only to work and back home.
Contact a Virginia DUI Lawyer
Our Newport News & Virginia Beach DUI lawyers have a wealth of knowledge and experience in DUI/DWI law. We're available to answer your questions and provide the legal representation you need for your case.
We Wrote the Book.We were tasked with writing the book on Virginia DUI Law by Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the leading authority in legal publishing. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges often turn to this resource.
We Possess the Knowledge.Not only are our attorneys committed to attending continued education courses, they lecture and teach courses themselves. In a field as scientific and technical as DUI Defense, keeping our knowledge up to date is crucial to crafting our clients' defense strategies.
We Truly Care.Mike Tillotson & Jeff Martin go the extra mile for their clients. Our team realizes that this is your future at stake and we will employ every strategy to ensure that we are providing you with the best representation possible.
We Have the Fight to Win.With nearly 40 years of combined experience, Mike Tillotson and Jeff Martin have successfully handled thousands of DUI cases, and has tried cases across the entire state of Virginia.
Call (757) 568-7978 or Fill Out a Form for a Free Case Evaluation