The good folks at Virginia ASAP have come up with some proposals to modify the mandatory ignition interlock law that has been in effect since 2012. Since 2012, the law has required an ignition interlock for anybody convicted of DUI under Virginia Code 18.2-266, if they want to have a restricted license to drive for work and certain other purposes.
Before the mandatory ignition interlock law, folks with a DUI conviction could only drive on a restricted license, which allowed them to go to work, school, ASAP classes, medical appointments, church, daycare, etc.
The new interlock law was offered as a public safety measure, but it continued to impose the punishment of a restricted license, instead of just letting folks drive wherever they wanted so long as they were being tested for alcohol every time they drive. The new proposals would change this, but they add a wrinkle.
FOLLOW THE MONEY:
The new proposal from one of the VASAP directors is to amend the law so that folks will have two options. First, they can have the restricted license as now required, along with the ignition interlock at the cost of about $100/month, for one year. Otherwise, they would have the option of wearing a SCRAM bracelet on their ankle, at the cost of ($200/Month?) AND have the ignition interlock for at least 6 months, but they would be allowed to drive wherever they want, without restrictions.
This proposal first appeared in the VASAP quarterly minutes for Fall 2017, found at this link (page 8):
So, they are willing to let folks drive wherever they want, so long as they can ensure public safety, right? Well, then why do folks have to pay for redundant systems for alcohol detection in order to access this privilege? Only folks who can afford the extravagant expense of more than $300/month can take advantage of this provision.
This seems like it is more about the money than it is about public safety.
Anybody with an ignition interlock required by law should be allowed to drive without further restrictions, so long as they comply with the ASAP monitoring requirements for the ignition interlock device.
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