A DUI conviction in Virginia comes with steep penalties, including hefty fines, drivers license suspension and possible jail time. Those who have been convicted of a DUI must have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles. Ignition interlock devices give those convicted of a DUI a mode of transportation and the ability to get to work and school. Yet they also help you avoid getting another DUI charge and/or conviction. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, states that enacted mandatory interlock device use for all DUI offenders, including first-time offenders, saw a 67% decrease in the number of repeat DUI offenders. 

How do ignition interlock devices work? 

Interlock devices are approximately the size of a cell phone and attach directly to the ignition system of the vehicle. With a dashboard monitor and a built-in camera, the device takes a picture of whoever attempts to start the car. If drivers have a BAC level of 0.02 or higher, the vehicle will not start and they must wait for a period before trying again. 

What are the facts? 

When the vehicle does start, an alarm will sound prompting the driver to submit another breath sample. This is known as a rolling retest. Each month, drivers must take the vehicles in for device maintenance and calibration. At this time, all information stored in the device, including the following, is transferred to officials: 

  • Failed startup attempts 
  • Lock outs 
  • Attempts to tamper with equipment 
  • BAC levels  
  • Rolling retest results  

Once you are ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, you should look to find a list of approved dealers.