Will I be required to use an IID?

Virginia residents accused of impaired driving should understand the state’s requirements for the use of ignition interlock devices.

It seems that no matter what the circumstances, when a Virginia driver looks in their rear-view mirror and sees flashing blue and red lights, a sense of panic can set in. This can be the case even if the person has done nothing wrong and no ticket or arrest ensues.

When a driver does begin to be questioned by law enforcement and a suspected impaired driving arrest seems imminent, a person can become downright scared. One of the things that a person begins to wonder about is what type of penalties might be faced if they are ultimately convicted of drunk driving.

Virginia's ignition interlock requirement

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, even with a first-time conviction for a driving under the influence charge, a driver may be required to install and use an ignition interlock device . This requirement may be put in place by the court or by the DMV. The IID must be installed on at least one vehicle owned, co-owned or driven by the convicted driver.

If a person is convicted of more than one DUI offense within the span of one decade, they must install ignition interlock devices in every single vehicle that they own alone or with someone else. They must also install IIDs in any vehicle that they drive even if owned by someone else.

IID basics

Intoxalock, an ignition interlock device manufacturer, explains that an IID places a lock on a vehicle's ignition. The lock is in place until a driver successfully passes a breath test, allowing the vehicle to start the ignition.

Once a trip is underway, a driver will be signaled to take subsequent tests while driving. These are called rolling retests. The Commission on Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program explains that if a rolling retest measures a breath alcohol content over 0.19 percent that test may be deemed a failure. This could result in a violation of the driver's IID agreement unless a 0.00-percent result can be obtained within 15 minutes.

Missing one of the rolling retests is another thing that may lead to a violation of the driver's requirement. Any violations may result in a driver's license revocation during which time no restricted driving privileges may be allowed.

Help is important when navigating drunk driving penalties

After an arrest for suspected DUI, Virginia residents should always contact an attorney. Talking to a lawyer will give drivers the best and most accurate information about the defense process and any potential penalties that may be experienced.