New DUI Laws Take Effect July 1

By: Bailey Disselkoen Email
By: Bailey Disselkoen Email

Tighter restrictions on driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol will take effect on Sunday, July 1. New legislation will require everyone convicted of a DUI to have a ignition interlock device placed in their car. The device ensures the driver of the car is sober, by having them blow into a breathalyzer in order to get the car to turn on.

"Since everyone convicted will have to have it this, it will sweep in hundreds and thousands of more people, doubling the number of people effected," explained area attorney Scott Goodman. In the past only those who had already been convicted of a DUI or had blown .15 or higher when arrested were required to have one installed in their car.

Goodman says the new measures come at a high price.

"I know that the prosecutors did not ask for this and privately many prosecutors will tell you its unnecessary for everyone," said Goodman. The device costs around $500 to install and then around $100 each month to maintain.

"This is something that effects lower income people more heavily than those that have the resources to afford this," said Goodman. "If they don't come forward with the money they will be in violation and will be called back to court."

Regardless, legislators say its necessary to keep Virginians safe.

"Everything we do whether at the legislative level or the law enforcement level, it's our job to reduce highway deaths and injuries on the roads," said Lt. Ronnie Roberts, of the Charlottesville Police Department.

Another law extends the amount of time a person has to have their Learner's Permit before taking the Behind-The-Wheel test, in the past it was 30 days, but beginning on July 1, it will be 60 days.


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