Virginia Ignition Interlocks a factor in hundreds of crashes

Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Fairfax, Leesburg & Manassas, Virginia

Posted: June 17, 2019
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Image showing interlock system in car

Technology that is designed to deter previous offenders from drinking and driving is producing alarming crash statistics.

The Department of Motor Vehicles reports that the number of crashes due to Ignition Interlock devices has gone up from 407 in 2012 to 678 in 2016.  Virginia state law mandates that individuals have the device installed in their automobile for at least 6 months after their first conviction for DUI.

While the idea of making sure a person who has a DUI conviction does not continue to drink is a good one, there has been unintended consequences.   In 2017, a woman in Texas was killed while backing out of her driveway by a man who was trying to blow into his Interlock device.

The controversy comes down to two main issues, Distracted Driving and False Positives.

In order to keep the motor vehicle operating, the individual must periodically blow into the device.  This could occur while traveling 55 mph hour on a highway or while navigating through a preschool parking lot.  While many states have passed texting while driving laws to reduce the number of crashes due to distraction, people who are convicted of a DUI in Virginia are expected to operate the Ignition Interlock while their car is in operation.

Another problem with these devices is that they are not always accurate and they produce false positive results.  Items that can mess up the results of an Ignition Interlock device include eating bread, mouthwash, perfume, and even some types of suntan lotion.

If there is a positive result on the Ignition Interlock device, a person may have to come to court to face a judge on a probation violation.  Alex Gordon and Carlos Wall, lawyers in Northern Virginia, have helped dozens of clients charged with violations of probation due to positive results with the Ignition Interlock devices.

If you or a friend has been charged with a violation of probation in Loudoun County, Prince William County, Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, or Fairfax County for DUI probation non-compliance, please feel welcome to contact The Gordon Law Firm, PC for a free consultation.  We can be reached at 703.218.8416 or at