Virginia DUI / DWI – Ignition Interlock Only Required for a Restricted License

If you are convicted of a first offense DUI / DWI in Virginia, ignition interlock will be required as a condition of a restricted license. However, if you don’t want to drive at all for a year, you don’t have to mess with the interlock.

Video Transcription

Hello, my name is Andrew Flusche. I’m a Virginia traffic attorney. As we’ve talked about before, the DUI law in Virginia now says that for any DUI conviction, to get a restricted license you have to have ignition interlock installed. One question people ask though is “What if I don’t want to drive for a year?” Some people have a work or school situation that doesn’t require them to drive. Certainly it’s convenient, and people want to be able to drive in most cases, but if they have to do without it, some people can.

The good news is that under the current law, since it’s been changed, you can simply opt to not drive for the entire 12 months, if it’s a first offense, and you would never have to mess with the ignition interlock requirement. Now, you would still have to do that VASAP; the Virginia Alcohol and Safety Action Program; and you would have to do everything else the court tells you to do, but you would not ever have to get ignition interlock installed on your vehicle if it’s a first offense case.

That’s a big departure from the previous law from before July 1, 2012. Before then, any case with an elevated blood alcohol; so if you were charged with .15 or higher in Virginia; you would have to get the ignition interlock to get your license back. But now, the way the law has been changed it’s actually a little bit easier and it applies a little more evenly for all first offense cases.

So again, on a first offense your license has to be suspended for 12 months and if you want a restricted license, and you’re eligible and the court will grant it, you have to get ignition interlock for at least the first 6 months. However, if you don’t want to drive for 12 months; if you’re able to walk or get other arrangements made; then you don’t have to mess with ignition interlock at all and you can save that expense and that hassle.

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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