The Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee recently reconsidered and revised legislation that would require all drunken driving ("DUI") offenders in the state, including first-time offenders, to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. Both chambers passed the legislation.

On Monday, March 3, the Senate Courts of Justice Committee reconsidered House Bill 1442, which had already passed in the House. The bill passed with substitute legislation in the Senate on Tuesday, March 4 and passed unanimously on Thursday, March 6 in the House.

Not only does the improved bill require ignition interlocks to be implemented after the first conviction for driving under the influence, it also raises the administrative fee from $20 to $75.

If the driver convicted is indigent or prohibited from driving a school or commercial vehicle, the bill also allows the cost of the device to be paid from the criminal fund.

Another addition to the bill, which goes into effect on October 1, 2008, is that the DUI offender will have to pay a $30 monthly fee.

According to Delegate Salvatore Iaquinto (R-Virginia Beach), the bill's sponsor, ensuring that offenders do not drink and drive a second time is the only way to ensure that convicted DUI offenders stop harming people. He believes this legislation fills that purpose and will make the roadways of Virginia safer.

The alcohol-ignition interlock device is essentially a Breathalyzer that is linked to the ignition system of a vehicle. In order to start the vehicle, the driver must blow into the device, which then reads his or her blood-alcohol level. If a set limit is exceeded, in this case, a blood-alcohol level of 0.02, the vehicle will not start.

Currently in Virginia, ignition interlocks are required to be installed in the vehicles of multiple DUI offenders or first-time offenders who register a blood-alcohol level above 0.15, which is nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08.
Bob Battle
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Tom Jones 04/12/2009 03:41 PM
What about those who have made the necessary changes to correct a past mistake? Enough of the piling on humiliation, fines and other punishments withou equal consideration for those who have learned and wish to move on with there life. This has been so politicized that it is really getting out of hand. I would like to see some incentives out there such as sealing of records that all people to get on with their lives. Are there any carrots or is just sticks and stones?
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