Can I have ignition interlock installed before I go to court?

The answer depends.

Unfortunately, this is one of those legal questions that will depend a lot and is based on the local court and VASAP office where your case is pending. Each county has a different VASAP office that services it. For example, Fredericksburg is serviced by the Rappahannock Area ASAP and that covers the Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, and King George area and a few others.

It is my understanding that VASAP offices are not supposed to allow pre-installation, but I have heard of cases where it happens. That lets you pre-enroll in VASAP and get the ignition interlock installed on your vehicle. Then if you are found guilty or take some kind of deal on your trial for the DWI it will be almost a seamless transition to being able to drive again, pursuant to the terms of your restricted license.

However, official ASAP policy, and the Rappahannock Area ASAP, which services the Fredericksburg area, will not let you install an ignition interlock before court. If you live in the Fredericksburg area, you would not be able to pre-install your ignition interlock. However what you can do is before court is to pre-enroll in VASAP and pre-qualify for ignition interlock. Depending on the interlock provider, you may even be able to set up an installation appointment for the afternoon of your court date or at least the next day.

What that does is help to make sure you won’t be waiting in line with the interlock provider to get an installation after your court date. In some areas, simply getting an installation date for ignition interlock can take a couple weeks after you’re convicted. Being able to pre-qualify and getting an installation appointment scheduled can help expedite the process to driving again. Again, if you can get that appointment on the day of your court date, perhaps late in the afternoon, you might be able to be driving again the very next day to be able to drive yourself to work.

This is one of those questions that depends upon the local court, the interlock companies, and the local ASAP office. There are a lot of players involved, and it’s going to depend on lots of factors. It’s one reason why it’s critical that you have a local attorney to help you with your DWI case.

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Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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