Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
An ignition interlock device is a requirement of a restricted license in Virginia subsequent to any DUI conviction. It’s a device installed in your car that you have to blow into, and if it registers any alcohol, the car will not start. Additionally, it will report any violations to the manufacturer, who will then report it to ASAP and the court. Although it is always preferable to avoid having to install an ignition interlock, it is often a better option than losing your license completely. To discuss whether an ignition interlock applies to your case, call and schedule a consultation with an Alexandria DUI lawyer today.
Basically it works like this: before your car starts, you must blow into this device. If it detects alcohol, it will not allow the car to start and you will have fifteen minutes to re-test to show that you do not have any alcohol in your system. Even if you retest without alcohol, your first test will be reported to ASAP, which can result in a violation of the conditions of your sentence. This could include further suspension of your license and maybe even imposition of any suspended jail sentence. But if the device does not register alcohol, you will be free to drive. The device comes with an installation fee and a monthly fee to have it in your car, as well as certain maintenance requirements.
Installing an IID is expensive. There is an installation fee as well as monthly fees. It can end up costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars to get the ignition interlock installed in your car and keep it there for the duration required by the court in your case.
In Alexandria, you must have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle if you’re convicted of DUI and you have been granted a restricted license. By law, every single restricted license for alcohol-related offenses carries a mandatory ignition interlock. If your license is suspended for one year and you have an ignition interlock under a restricted license, you can apply to have it removed after six months, but you will have to have the ignition interlock for at least those six months. The only scenario in which you don’t have to have ignition interlock is if you do not plan on driving for one year and you do not drive at all for that year. Otherwise, any restricted license carries a mandate for an ignition interlock.
If the judge grants you a restricted license, the duration of the ignition interlock requirement depends on how long your license is suspended for. Typically, it would be for at least six months of continuous use, without any violations, on the first conviction for DUI. After six months, you would then have to apply for the court to remove the ignition interlock. The court doesn’t have to grant that motion for at least six months, and it’s possible that a judge may choose to leave the device in place for years.
Once you are convicted of DUI, there’s not much an attorney can do for you in relation to an IID. If you’re convicted of DUI, then the court must impose the ignition interlock device. Attorneys can advise you which company works the best, and if you’ve been charged with a violation of the ignition interlock, an attorney will be extremely helpful in defending against that type of charge. An attorney can also help you to petition the court to remove the IID after six months of continuous use.
Nobody really wants to install an IID, it’s a pain, it costs money and it can be embarrassing to have in your car. But since it’s mandated by state law and there’s no alternative if you want to be able to drive on a restricted license, my clients generally choose to have an IID installed.