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Virginia's ignition interlock law appears to be effective

Just over one year ago, Virginia passed a new law requiring all drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. According to a recent report by AAA, Virginia’s law appears to be effective so far in preventing people from getting behind the wheel after a few too many drinks.

According to statistics compiled by AAA, approximately 8,000 people in Virginia currently have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. Before the current law was passed, fewer than 5,000 people in the state had these devices in their cars. Experts estimate that the number of Virginians who must use these devices is likely to increase as time goes on and as DUI cases are processed by courts. 

Many states require those convicted of DUI to have IIDs installed in their vehicles, but Virginia’s law is particularly tough. Even those with only one DUI conviction must use an IID for six months.

Though this may seem to be nothing more than a deterrent, the installation of an IID in a vehicle can present a significant financial burden. DUI offenders must pay not only to have the devices installed, but must also pay for periodic maintenance and calibration, as well as for the rental of the necessary equipment. Over the course of six months, the costs associated with IIDs can add up.

As groups like AAA continue to tout the effectiveness of ignition interlock devices, laws similar to those in Virginia are likely to be passed throughout the U.S. 

Source: WRIC.com, "Virginia's DUI IgInition Interlock Law Keeping Drunk Drivers Off Roads,” July 30, 2013