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How might an ignition interlock device lead to further trouble?


Ignition interlock devices are one tool available to Virginia judges when convicting someone of driving under the influence (DUI). While having to fit one could save you from worse consequences, these devices bring their own issues.

What if they read wrong?

Police breathalyzers can read wrong. Challenging their accuracy is one of the ways you could challenge the charges you face. The ignition interlock also measures your blood alcohol content, so there is no reason to suggest it might not suffer similar reliability problems.

What if you need to use the car in an emergency?

Think back to those horror movies where the family or lone woman sneaks out the back door and around to their car to escape the maniac hunting them down. They insert the key, and nothing happens.

There are many urgent reasons you may need to get in your car and drive. These could range from your spouse entering labor to Grandad falling down the stairs to a wildfire approaching your home. If you were settled in for the night with a few drinks and no intention of driving, you may blow over the limit, and the installed device will prevent your car from starting. Then what?

You cannot just jump in another car and drive

The court may forbid you to drive any vehicle that does not have an ignition lock. You need to drop the kids at school, and the battery is flat on your car, the one equipped with the interlock device. Even though you have not drunk a drop, you could still face charges if the police stop you on the way.

The best way to avoid ignition interlock problems is to avoid the DUI conviction in the first place. There are many ways to challenge a DUI, and if you are unsuccessful and do have to install an interlock, there are also ways to fight any new offenses that result.

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