The number of DUI offenders required to install Ignition Interlock Devices in their vehicles has nearly doubled in Virginia since a stricter law went into affect, AAA announced Tuesday.
Approximately 8,500 drivers convicted of driving under the influence were enrolled in the program during the first 11 months of the law, according to data provided by the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program.
That's compared to about 4,800 drivers who had the device before it became mandatory.
The law, which went into effect July 1, 2012, is geared toward first-time offenders. Previously, the devices were only required if a driver was convicted of two or more DUI convictions or if the first offense included a BAC of over 0.15 percent or above.
The alcohol detection system triggers the horn and flashing lights if the operator’s blood-alcohol content exceeds 0.02 percent or if the driver fails to take the test.
A total of 229 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Virginia last year, nearly one third of the total traffic fatalities in the state.