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Ignition interlock devices protect everyone, including you

Virginia's ignition interlock laws are keeping convicted drunk drivers from breaking the law a second time, which is good news for everyone. Getting convicted a second time costs hundreds to thousands of dollars, can result in incarceration and negatively affects your relationships. With an ignition interlock device, you might never have to see that happen.

In 2012, Virginia passed a law requiring all DUI offenders to have an ignition interlock device installed. Interestingly, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) immediately reported that there was a 67 percent drop in the number of DUIs caused by repeat offenders in states where this law was implemented. In Virginia, Roanoke reported a drop right away. In 2012 to 2013, there were 474 arrested, but in 2014 to 2015, that dropped to 309. In 2015 to 2016, that dropped again to 215. The number rose slightly in 2016 to 2017 to 265, but that may be due to more officers spending time patrolling for drivers who are under the influence.

In Virginia, Roanoke used to be one of the worst areas for DUIs. Now, that's no longer the case. On top of the ignition interlock system, the all-offender law includes counseling and alcohol treatment, both of which help reduce the number of reoffenders significantly. Pairing treatment with the ignition interlock system results in a 32 percent lower chance of reoffending the law when compared to those who only received an ignition interlock device.

If you're facing a DUI, you have a right to defend yourself. If you are convicted, you could find yourself with an ignition interlock device required in your vehicle.

Source: WSLS 10, "Virginia ignition interlock laws keep more convicted drunken drivers from reoffending," Erin Brookshier, accessed Oct. 05, 2017

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