Articles Tagged with ignition interlock

car-1232347As previously discussed, if you are arrested in the District of Columbia for a DUI, the DMV will most likely suspend or revoke your license for a period of 6 months to 2 years depending on various factors. However, the DC DMV offe
rs an Ignition Interlock Device Program (IIDP) allows DUI and DWI offenders to get their driving privileges back faster.  An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer connected to a car’s ignition system. To start the car, the driver must first blow into the device to check the alcohol level on his or her breath. The car will only start if the driver’s breath alcohol level is below an accepted amount on the device.

While the device itself may be a bit burdensome on a driver or a somewhat unsightly in your vehicle, DC’s IIDP gives DUI offenders a chance to reduce the suspension or revocation period on their license. What this means is that if your license is suspended because of a DC DUI and you participate in the program, you get a restricted driver’s license which allows you to drive as you once did, so long as your vehicle contains the breathalyzer. Although the program is optional at the moment, it may become mandatory for some DUI offenders.

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Virginia already has some of the toughest DUI laws in the country, but they continue to find new ways to burden those convicted of DUI. The most recent addition to Virginia DUI punishment is the “ignition interlock” system. When installed in a car, an ignition interlock prevents that car from starting until the driver blows into a mouthpiece. The device measures the amount of alcohol in the driver’s blood, and will not allow the car to start if it detects a blood alcohol concentration above .02.

Virginia DUI first offenders must have an ignition interlock system installed on all vehicles they intend to operate if they wish to receive a restricted license. For most DUI offenders, a restricted license is a must, so that they can continue driving themselves to their jobs, and transporting their children to and from school or child care. The system must be kept on the car for at least six months.

Being forced to install the ignition interlock adds a significant expense to an already expensive mistake. Costs include a fee for installation of the device, along with a monthly monitoring fee. Drivers can expect to pay over $500 for a six month period. In addition, bringing your car to the monthly monitoring appointment is required by law, and can be an aggravating inconvenience. Perhaps most significantly, a driver who is issued a restricted license cannot begin driving until the ignition interlock system is installed, which can take a week or more following your conviction. Some Virginia counties may allow you to pre-enroll for their alcohol safety program, which may expedite your ignition interlock installation.