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What is the purpose of an ignition interlock device?

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2022 | DUI |

Virginia law intends to curb DUI offenders from repeating. One of the ways they do this is by implementing penalties that include the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Since the goal of authorities is to keep the public safe, the required use of an ignition interlock device aims to accomplish this. While the law regarding its use has recently changed, the overall intent has not.

What does an ignition interlock device do?

The goal of an ignition interlock device is to stop a driver from operating a vehicle if intoxicated. In order to do this, the mechanism requires anyone attempting to drive the car to undergo a breath test. If the driver does so, and the test immediately registers a BAC of less than .02, the car will become operable. However, if the BAC is higher, the vehicle will not start, and the computer sends a report to the court.

Who needs to have one?

Under the law, anyone charged and convicted of a DUI needs to pay for the installation and use of an interlock device. Every vehicle registered to the same household of the offender must have the device installed. For first-time offenders, it may become possible for the court to decide to remove it after six months of continued use with no incidents of positive readings.

What are rolling tests?

The interlock device may randomly request a driver to give on-the-road breath tests. These rolling tests require another in-car sample to ensure that the driver is still sober. If a rolling test registers a BAC of .02 or higher, the lights will flash, and the horn will sound until the vehicle is off.

An ignition interlock device may help the court feel comfortable that a driver will not attempt to drive after drinking again.