Virginia DUI Bill Would Increase Penalties For First Offenders | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Virginia DUI Bill Would Increase Penalties For First Offenders

Play associated audio

A Virginia bill that cracks down on drunk driving is on the fast track in the General Assembly. In previous sessions, the House had supported the measure but the Senate rejected it.

This year, identical bills are carried by Del. Salvatore Iaquinto (R) and State Sen. Donald McEachin (R). The legislation requires someone convicted of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) with a blood alcohol level of .08-.15 to keep an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for the sixth months that they have a restricted driver's license -- the penalty for the first offense. 

This year, the bill has two key changes. On the first offense, the device, which requires a driver to blow into a breathalyzer before the car will start, is only installed on the primary vehicle that the person drives. 

"On the second offense, you have to have it on all cars titled in your name," says Iaquinto. "That's something that the federal goverment has told us, if we don't do that on the second or subsequent offenses … we could lose funding for transportation."

The other change allows a driver who believes he'll be convicted of drunk driving to pre-qualify for the interlock device rather than wait for a trial and potential backlog from the device manufacturer. Bill opponents say it's just too tough on first-time offenders.

WAMU 88.5

'Historic Landmark' Status Complicates Corcoran Renovations

Plans by George Washington University to renovate the Corcoran Gallery of Art may be thrown for a loop after D.C.'s historic preservation board designated much of the interior of the building as a historic landmark.

NPR

In This Museum, Visitors Can Eat At The Exhibits

The Southern Museum of Food and Beverage in New Orleans chronicles the eats and drinks of the Southern states. And it may be one of the only museums where visitors can imbibe while viewing exhibits.
NPR

Staten Island Candidates Avoid Talk Of Eric Garner Case

In the New York Congressional district where an an unarmed black man died at the hands of police last year, neither candidate for a special congressional election is using the death to score points.
NPR

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

The notion of receiving nutrition advice from artificial intelligence on your wrist may seem like science fiction. But health developers are betting this kind of behavior will become the norm.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.