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How does an ignition interlock device work?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2023 | DUI |

When a Virginia traffic stop leads to a charge of driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence, quite a bit depends on whether that charge leads to a conviction. If it does, you may have to spend up to a year behind bars and pay hefty fines, among other consequences. Each state also has its own rules when it comes to drunk drivers and ignition interlock devices. While some states require IIDs only when you have a certain blood alcohol content or receive a repeat conviction, this is not the case in Virginia.

Instead, the Virginia State Law Library notes that everyone in Virginia who gets a conviction for drunk driving has to install and use an IID for a set period.

How the device works

Once an approved provider installs an IID on your car and any other vehicles you drive, the device stops the vehicle from firing up until you supply a breath sample with a blood alcohol content that falls below 0.02%. These devices also have rolling retest features. Once your car is in operation, it may ask you periodically to provide another breath sample to make sure you did not start drinking after getting the car to start. If the rolling retest detects alcohol on your breath, it triggers your car horn and makes your lights flash.

What happens after a violation

Violating the terms of your IID agreement may lead to fines and time in jail, among other possible consequences. Upon receiving notification of a violation, the court may also decide to impose any remaining part of your suspended sentence or completely revoke your driving privileges.

There are fees and expenses involved in installing and using an IID in your car. These fees and expenses are your financial responsibility.