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:
- All first offender DUI except for 18.2-266 (v) must take an interlock in order to have a Restricted Operator's License.
- 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.
- They have added an amendment expressly prohibiting interlock pretrial. Nobody can voluntary install one of these devices on their car.  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.
- 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).
- They amended to allow first offenders to have it installed on one vehicle only instead of all vehicles (the Albo amendment-- "Thanks, Dave!")
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: