Recently, in July 2012, the Commonwealth of Virginia made it mandatory that all those convicted of a DUI, even first time offenders, have an ignition interlock installed in their cars. An ignition interlock device has to be blown into before the car ignition will switch on. If the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is more than the allowed amount (which is usually over .02%) the car will not start, the sample will be logged and the car’s alarm will turn on until the keys are removed from ignition. On top of having to exhale every time you want to start your car, the driver is also required to breathe into the device at random times after the car has been started. The device comes with a $60 monthly maintenance fee and $60 installation price. If you can’t afford the price of installation, the companies that manufacture the IIDs will pay for the cost.
Now, the National Transportation Board is recommending that all states make it mandatory for all DUI offenders to have a device placed in their car. Currently only 17 states have laws that require it in exchange for a restricted license. A study conducted by the NTSB has shown that out of 32,000 yearly deaths on the highway, about a third of those are caused by drunk drivers. More so, 69% of drivers involved in wrong-way fatalities had an above the legal limit of alcohol in their system at the time of the crash.
Many suggestions were bounced around at the recent meeting of the NTSB; the five-person board has suggested better lighting on highways, enhanced roadway signs and markings, and an in-car GPS that warns the driver if they are driving down the wrong side of a road. New technology is being developed to curb drunk driving in addition to the IID. The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety will utilize breath and touch sensors to analyze the level of alcohol in someone’s system.
Though the opposition argues this is a costly law, the pro-IID party says that it will be much less costly than the price of an accident or fatality.
If you find yourself or someone you know facing DWI charges in Fairfax, Prince William or Loudoun County, give The Gordon Law Firm a call at 703-218-8416 or toll-free at 1-800-591-NOVA (6682) to speak to an attorney today for your free consultation.