Here in Virginia, if a person is convicted of a first-time DUI, they’re required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicle(s) to have restricted driving privileges. Even if the court doesn’t mandate it in a particular case, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does.
You may consider it cumbersome and embarrassing to have this breathalyzer-type device in your vehicle that you must blow into before your car will start. However, it’s better than risking driving without a valid license after a DUI – and likely better than relying on family, friends and rideshare apps to get around.
Following the rules is crucial
It’s crucial to understand and follow all of the rules that come with having an IID. Violating them is itself an offense that could leave you without any driving privileges at all.
You simply need to follow procedures, like having the device serviced and monitored according to the schedule. Whatever you do, don’t try to cheat it. These devices are more sophisticated than they used to be. If you’re concerned about having too much alcohol in your system to start your car, you shouldn’t be driving.
Prevent unnecessary problems
You also want to prevent unnecessary problems or malfunctions of your IID. For example, make sure your battery is in good condition before you have the IID installed and keep it in good condition. If the battery dies, the IID may have to be reset.
Don’t leave your car running if you’re not in it. IIDs require rolling retests, which means intermittently while you’re driving, you’ll have to blow into it to show that you didn’t start sipping vodka once you started your car. The device assumes that if your engine’s running, you’re behind the wheel. If you went back in the house to get something, you could miss a retest, which counts as a failed test.
More drivers on the road have IIDs in their vehicles than you probably realize. People complete the IID program successfully every day – and so can you. If you’re required to have an IID to drive legally, make sure you understand what is involved and that you’re able and willing to abide by the rules and procedures that go along with it. If you don’t, you could just create even more legal problems for yourself. Having experienced legal guidance can help you make the right choice for you.