Driving with an Ignition Interlock

Virginia recently passed one of the toughest DUI laws in the country, requiring first time offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. This device checks a person’s blood-alcohol content before the vehicle will start, and then periodically requires the driver to blow as the car is moving to make sure they are still able to drive. 

Experience of Having an Interlock

For those who have driven with an ignition interlock, it is not the most pleasant experience. First, a person often needs to blow very hard for an extended period of time in order for the device to register. And because this may need to be done several times while driving, it can make it difficult to drive while trying to get the device to register your BAC. Some people think they will just have to blow briefly to get a reading, but that is not the case.

Second, most people are unaware of the cost. Because the law requires the offender to pay for all costs associated with the interlock, the price of this device can add up quickly. These fees include:

  • Installation fee
  • Monthly service fee
  • Removal fee

It is not uncommon for these costs to be more than $500 for the six months a driver is required to maintain this interlock.