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Time to become acquainted with an ignition interlock device?

In 2012, the Commonwealth of Virginia joined 15 other states in requiring the installation of an ignition interlock device in the vehicle of anyone convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Even if you are a first-time DUI offender, the court could order the IID for your car, and you must have it installed at your expense for whatever length of time the court deems proper. If you are about to become personally acquainted with an IID, do you know what this device is and how it works?

A mini computer

The ignition interlock device is small, roughly the size of a cellphone. It attaches to the ignition system in your car or truck. Basically, it is a mini computer with a breath analyzer attached. Every time you get behind the wheel, you must breathe into the mouthpiece. The computer will record the blood alcohol content in your system, and if the BAC is higher than 0.02 percent, the car will not start. If you do pass the test, you can expect random re-tests as you drive, to make sure you are not imbibing any alcohol along the way.

The IID for a company driver

If you drive a vehicle for a living, the court may allow you to operate the company vehicle on a restricted basis without having an IID installed, but you will only be permitted to drive for company business purposes. If you are the owner or partial owner of the vehicle, the court will not permit you to operate it. Furthermore, DUI offenders cannot operate school buses or other school vehicles for the length of time the IID restriction is in effect.

Tampering is out

A criminal defense attorney will caution you about trying to outsmart the ignition interlock device. Virginia requires monitoring and calibrating of the IID every 30 days, and the submitting of electronic logs to the proper authorities. Anyone who attempts to bypass the device or tampers with it will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. Keep in mind the importance of being able to drive following your DUI conviction, and think of the IID as your friend.



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Boyce, Leahy & Francescon, Lawyers
9300 Grant Avenue, Suite 200
Manassas, VA 20110

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