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DUI conviction in Virginia and interlock devices

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | Criminal defense |

Getting pulled over by law enforcement can be a nerve-wrecking situation. No one enjoys getting pulled over and given a traffic citation. While one might face a traffic citation for speeding, the reality is that it could be a more serious offense. If an officer suspects that a driver is under the influence of alcohol, he or she could face a DUI. If convicted, a motorist could face serious penalties, which might include having an ignition interlock system installed in their vehicle.

Ignition interlock system

When a motorist is charged and convicted of a DUI, he or she may face a wide range of penalties. One such penalty is having an ignition interlock system installed in all the vehicles he or she operates. This device connects to the ignition system, and after analyzing the blood alcohol content of the motorist after blowing into the device, the system will either allow the vehicle to be operated or prevent it from starting. If the device detects the driver’s blood alcohol content to be greater than 0.02 percent, it will prevent the driver from starting the vehicle and will electronically log the test.

DUI penalties in Virginia

In the state of Virginia, a motorist may be required to have an interlock device installed in any vehicle they might operate even if it is their first DUI conviction. This penalty is part of the condition of a restricted license. This allows the driver to still operate a vehicle while ensuring that he or she is not under the influence of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle.

While it is not required following a motorist’s first DUI conviction, it is required following a second or subsequent DUI. When an interlock device is installed in a vehicle, it is to remain in the vehicle for a period not less than six months and as long as the individual’s diver’s license is restricted.

While a traffic citation might appear to be a minor offense, when charged with a DUI, the penalties could be serious. Therefore, it is important that one fully understands their situation, what penalties they could face based on their past record and what defense action he or she could take. This could help a motorist accused of a DUI reduce or even dismiss the charges against them. This ultimately could help one reduce the penalties faced or avoid them entirely.