Since 2012, Virginia law has mandated installation of an ignition interlock device for all DUI offenders. Seven years later, authorities credit this stricter requirement with decreasing the number of repeat DUI cases, not only in Virginia but in states across the country that have adopted the all-offender model, as well as decreasing DUI cases generally in some Virginia communities.

If a court has ordered you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle due to a DUI, there are some important facts you need to know.

The BAC limit is lower for an ignition interlock device

In Virginia, as in most other states, the legal limit for driving is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. However, an ignition interlock device prevents you from starting your vehicle if your BAC is more than 0.02%, considerably less than the legal limit.

The devices are getting smarter

For example, some IIDs are now equipped with a camera to take a picture not only of the person taking the test but the entire vehicle interior. This is to ensure that the person driving the car and the person taking the test are one and the same. In other words, if you attempt to cheat the test by having someone else blow into the IID, the authorities will probably find out eventually.

There are consequences for attempting to cheat the test

The minimum span of time you will have to keep your ignition interlock device installed after a DUI is six months. However, every attempt you make to cheat the test extends this requirement by an additional six months. This penalty also applies any time you fail a breath test.

The law requires more than an IID

In addition to the requirement to install an ignition interlock device, the law also requires alcohol treatment and counseling for a DUI offense. Compared to installation of an IID alone, the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program found that combining counseling/treatment with an ignition interlock system decreased the likelihood of repeat DUI arrest by 32%.