The need to deter people from driving under the influence is a serious issue across the country and it is no different in Virginia, where a DUI conviction requires the installation of an ignition interlock device. This is installed in the offender’s vehicle at their own expense for at least a six-month period and requires them to blow into an apparatus to confirm their BAC is below the legal limit to start and operate the car. Unfortunately, the accuracy of these devices are often called into question and false positives have been known to cause unnecessary legal worry.
For example, a man was recently attempting to comply with this ignition interlock requirement, but while he was driving, the device prompted him to submit to the test several times within a brief span of time. His results were reported to a private company, which is contracted to manage these devices and they showed his BAC fluctuated wildly within roughly 11 minutes. Despite their inconsistency, the company forwarded these results to his probation officer, who charged him with violating his probation. The man was understandably nervous because if convicted, he’d not only serve time in jail, but he’d likely have to restart his six-month probation with the interlock device. Since he wanted to avoid incarceration and the additional cost involved with keeping the device installed, he knew that he needed serious legal representation and contacted the Roanoke defense lawyers at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico.
Attorney Michelle Derrico knows all too well that these reports can be imprecise and should not be used. Specifically, the private companies contracted to oversee these ignition interlocks have a vested financial interest in extending the time an offender needs to keep a device installed. Therefore, she began working to preserve her client’s freedom and protect him from the excessive fees involved with a seemingly endless probation period. Attorney Derrico spoke with a representative from the company and once confronted with her client’s drastic results, the representative confirmed they were inaccurate. In the end, Derrico leveraged these finding to have the probation violation charge dismissed. This outcome greatly pleased her client, who could now finish his original probationary period without further concern.
The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.