Va. has spike in use of devices to prevent drunk driving

WASHINGTON – Super Bowl Sunday means more police patrols are out on the roads looking for drunk drivers. And if a driver has been convicted in Virginia of a Driving Under the Influence or DUI charge, that driver will also will also have a harder time getting the car to start as there’s been a major spike in the number of drivers required to use the ignition interlock devices or IIDs.

AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesman John Townsend says, “Almost 40 percent of all fatal crashes on the highway on this day, will be caused by drunk drivers.”

Townsend applauds Virginia’s tougher DUI law that took effect July 2012 as the law requires even first time DUI offenders to have the device. He calls it a game changer and says the state’s law is unique.

Only 14 states have laws for IIDs. If a driver is convicted of a DUI the first time in Virginia, that driver is required to use the device and will have to blow into it every time before starting a car for six months at least.

“You look at the fact that almost 9,000 persons now, who’ve been convicted of a DUI, are required to have these devices in their cars.”

That’s an increase of nearly 90 percent since the law went into effect.

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