No, the court will not pay for your ignition interlock device. Since 2012, any Virginia driver convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is required to have an ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle before restricted driving privileges will be granted.
About Ignition Interlock Devices
An ignition interlock, sometimes called a breath alcohol ignition interlock, is a device that requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before starting the vehicle. If the device measures a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit, it prevents the vehicle's engine from starting.
Once the vehicle has been started, the ignition interlock requires periodic breath samples. If the sample shows an unacceptable BAC, an alarm sounds until the vehicle is shut off or a clean sample is provided.
Cost of Ignition Interlock Devices
If you're required to have an ignition interlock on your vehicle as a condition of getting a restricted license, you must pay for the device yourself. There are several different companies offering ignition interlock devices for Virginia drivers, which helps keep prices competitive. In most cases, you'll pay about $80 per month. Installation is typically free, but the monthly maintenance fee is necessary to make sure the device is working appropriately. If you fail to comply with the monthly maintenance of the device, you'll lose your restricted license.
Unfortunately, people who are unable to afford the cost of an ignition interlock have limited options. The device is required by law to obtain a restricted driver's license. If you can't afford the fee, you can simply opt not to request a restricted license and seek alternative transportation for work, medical appointments, and Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) meetings.
Driving a borrowed vehicle is not a way around the ignition interlock requirement. Offenders are required to have an ignition interlock device on every vehicle they drive, even if it's not registered in their name.
Seeking Legal Representation Regarding Interlocks
If you've been charged with a DUI, it's vital that you find a skilled attorney to advocate for your interests throughout the process. Please call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review with Virginia DUI defense attorney T. Kevin Wilson.