Ignition breath-test devices backed for all drunk drivers in Va.

All convicted drunk drivers would have to have pass a breath test to get their cars to start under a bill expected to win final approval in the Virginia Senate on Tuesday.


Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico), left, greets Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) in the Senate chambers. McEachin sponsored the breath-test bill. (Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post)

Currently, Virginia requires ignition interlock devices only upon the second or subsequent offense, or when the offender’s blood-alcohol level exceeds 0.15 percent.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico). The House passed a similar measure, sponsored by Del. Salvatore R. Iaquinto (R-Virginia Beach), last week.

“Virginia’s patience with the more than 29,000 drivers in the state annually convicted of driving under the influence has worn thin,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, president of the Virginia-based Washington Regional Alcohol Program.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.

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