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Virginia Passes Mandatory Ignition Interlock for all DUI/DWI Convictions

Since graduating from George Mason University School of Law in 1988, I have had over 20 years of trial experience, defending citizens accused of a wide variety of misdemeanor and felony offenses in Northern Virginia.   Since 1999, my practice has been almost exclusively focused on the Fairfax County Courts, allowing me to gain an increasing familiarity with the Courts, Prosecutors and Judges here in Fairfax County, Virginia.  

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Paul Liam McGlone
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Both houses have now passed this bill, calling for interlocks in First Offense DUI.  There is no doubt that the
Governor will sign it and it will go into effect on July 1, 2012. 

The full text of the new legislation can be found at this link:

New Virginia Ignition Interlock Laws

A few features of the new law:

  1. All first offender DUI except for 18.2-266 (v) must take an interlock in order to have a Restricted Operator's License.
  2. So, DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs) will also require it, and there is no exception for the fact that the case involved no alcohol.
  3. They have added an amendment expressly prohibiting interlock pretrial.  Nobody can voluntary install one of these devices on their car. [1]  This is probably the best indication that we have lost all logical nexus between public safety and the neo-prohibitionist move to punish all who choose to drink.  
  4. They will now allow the person to drive to and from the facility to have the interlock serviced. (But only in a car with interlock already installed).[2]
  5. They amended to allow first offenders to have it installed on one vehicle only instead of all vehicles (the Albo amendment-- "Thanks, Dave!")[3] 
We can expect a huge delay in allowing people to drive as there will surely be a shortage of appointments and potentially a shortage of hardware as we go from about 5-10% of cases to all 100% of 4,000 cases per year in Fairfax.

As a further note, this legislation includes no exception, and no practical provisions, to provide for persons who are licensed in another state but will be required by a Virginia conviction to have the interlock installed on their car.  

I have recently posted some FAQ describing the interlock installation process.  They can be found at these two links:

How Does the Interlock Work in Fairfax County?

More Questions about Ignition Interlock in Northern Virginia.

On previous occasions, I have posted on the related subject of efforts to make every new car alcohol free:

Washington Post story, quoting Mr. McGlone:
McGlone Law Firm, P.C.
10513 Judicial Drive, Suite 201
Fairfax, Virginia   22030
703 273-2750

Footnotes from Above Text:

[1] Any person who enters into such program prior to trial may pre-qualify with the program to have an ignition interlock system installed on any motor vehicle owned or operated by him. However, no ignition interlock company shall install an ignition interlock system on any such vehicle until a court issues to the person a restricted license with the ignition interlock restriction.

[2] ROL section amended to add:  or (xiii) travel to and from the facility that installed or monitors the ignition interlock in the person's vehicle
[3] The court shall, for a conviction under § 18.2-51.4, a second or subsequent offense of § 18.2-266 or a substantially similar ordinance of any county, city or town, or as a condition of license restoration pursuant to subsection C of § 18.2-271.1 or § 46.2-391, require that such a system be installed on each motor vehicle, as defined in § 46.2-100, owned by or registered to the offender, in whole or in part, for such period of time.

Category: DUI and DWI

Paul Liam McGlone
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DWI and Criminal Defense Attorney and Founder of McGlone Law Firm

1 Comments to "Virginia Passes Mandatory Ignition Interlock for all DUI/DWI Convictions"

What if i was driving someone else vehicle during my DUI arrest? How does that(if at all) apply to my restriction?
Posted by Charles R. Dunham on December 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM

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