Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
Ignition Interlock Regulations [24 VAC 35 ‑ 60]
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9/18/23  11:28 pm
Commenter: Dave Hites

STOP using interlock readings as evidence of non-compliance


Please stop restarting interlock clients time on the device because you think they were TRYING to start their vehicle with alcohol on their breath.  Chris Morris, the Interlock Program Coordinator, knows all too well that interlocks detect other alcohols other than ethanol and the failed reading very likely could be something else entirely.

The interlock is a preventive tool to keep a person with alcohol on their breath from STARTING a vehicle.  It will do that 100% of the time.  It can't be assumed, however, that ALL failed readings are due to consumed alcohol, because the device may be detecting another alcoholic compound.

You are punishing people beyond the capability of the interlock.  It can only function as a gate, not as evidence of anything.  The punishment is that you don't get to drive your car yet.  That's as far as the punishment should go.  The device did its one and only job.

What are you punishing people for anyway?  Trying to start their vehicle and failing?  If the idea is to keep someone who has been drinking from starting their vehicle, mission accomplished.  What crime has been committed here?  That is the extent of the device's job.  It can in no way corroborate consumed alcohol 100% of the time.  If it could there wouldn't be nearly as many secondary reviews for violations as interlocks installed for the year.

Chris Morris will tell you that VA Code 18.2-270.1 requires that all alcohol-related violations be reported to the court so it would be impossible to grant the petition.  The thing is that it is the Commission that decides what an alcohol-related violation is.  You have all the power. Please enforce the law, not bend it so that interlock companies can comply with it.

The interlock should be installed for a predetermined time to comply with a DMV requirement or court order.  No extensions.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dave Hites

CommentID: 220355