Virginia's first-time DUI offender laws are strict; they're much stricter than other states in some ways. For instance, did you know that if you have a first-offense DUI, you'll have to pay to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed into your vehicle? That installation costs around $480 for six months as of the 2012 regulations. This penalty applies regardless of the person's level of intoxication; if he or she is over the limit, then an IID is required.
This law was initiated in July 2012. As a direct result, over four times as many people had to have IIDs installed after offenses, even if they were considered minor. This has caused a debate in the state since the law was first set.
Some groups of people, like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) believes that this helps reduce repeat offenses, which helps save lives. Public defenders, on the other hand, think that this may be going too far for first-time offenders. This new law means more cases go to court, and since the court system is already burdened, take up the time of already stressed judges. It's also believed that lower-income drivers will be unfairly affected due to the fees associated with installing the device.
No matter where you stand on this issue, if you're facing a DUI, it's important to defend yourself. A strong defense can help make sure you're not facing unfair charges and make certain you don't face a bias in court. You deserve the protection. Our site has more on what to expect if you're facing charges.