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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 24. Transportation and Motor Vehicles
Agency 35. Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program
Chapter 60. Ignition Interlock Program Regulations
8/11/2020

24VAC35-60-70. Ignition Interlock Device Specifications.

A. All ignition interlock devices used pursuant to §§ 18.2-270.1 and 46.2-391.01 of the Code of Virginia shall be approved by the commission. The commission shall maintain a list of approved ignition interlock devices.

B. A service provider seeking to contract with the commission shall submit:

1. The name and address of the ignition interlock device manufacturer;

2. The name and model number of the ignition interlock device; and

3. A detailed description of the device including drawings, schematics, wiring protocols, and instructions for its installation and operation.

C. The manufacturer or service provider shall provide literature promoting its device to the commission and for distribution to the ASAPs.

D. The manufacturer or service provider shall provide certification from an independent laboratory that its ignition interlock device has been tested in accordance with the most current model specifications published in the Federal Register by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The manufacturer or service provider is required to provide a certified affidavit that the ignition interlock device model complies with all applicable state standards, including written documentation, current within five years, from either a certified testing laboratory or a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing lab that the ignition interlock model for which certification is being sought meets or exceeds the current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's model specifications. Included with the certification report should be the name and location of the testing laboratory, the address and phone number of the testing laboratory, a description of the tests performed, copies of the data and results of the testing procedures, and the names and qualifications of the individuals performing the tests.

E. If a device is submitted for approval by a service provider other than the manufacturer, the submitting party shall submit a notarized affidavit from the manufacturer of the device certifying that the submitting party is an authorized manufacturer's representative.

F. Except where otherwise required in this chapter, all ignition interlock devices shall meet the model specifications for Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices as set forth in the most current model specifications published in the Federal Register by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and operate reliably over the range of motor vehicle environments or motor vehicle manufacturing standards. At a minimum, the following specifications shall be met:

1. The ignition interlock device shall work accurately and reliably in an unsupervised environment, at minimal inconvenience to others, and without impeding the safe operation of the motor vehicle.

2. The ignition interlock device shall be able to analyze a specimen of alveolar breath for alcohol concentration, correlate accurately with established measures of blood alcohol concentration, and be calibrated according to the manufacturer's specifications.

3. The ignition interlock device shall be alcohol specific, using an electrochemical fuel cell that reacts to and measures ethanol, minimizing positive results from other substances.

4. The ignition interlock device shall indicate when a 1.5 L breath sample has been collected and shall indicate this by audible or visual means. The commission may authorize service providers to adjust the breath volume requirement to as low as 1.0 L upon receipt of documentation from a licensed physician verifying the existence of an applicable medical condition. The physician's documentation shall be submitted in a format approved by the commission.

5. The ignition interlock device shall detect and record a BAC that reaches the fail point for all completed breath samples.

6. The results of the test shall be noted through the use of green, yellow, and red signals or similar pass/fail indicators. No digital blood alcohol concentration shall be indicated to the offender.

7. The ignition interlock device shall lock out an offender when a BAC reaches the fail point.

8. The ignition interlock device shall have the ability to activate the vehicle's lights and horn when a required rolling retest is missed or failed.

9. The ignition interlock device shall have the ability to perform a permanent lockout if the offender fails to appear for a scheduled monitoring appointment within 30 days of the later of the installation date or most recent calibration date. The service provider shall provide a code, smart key, or other similar unlock feature that has been approved by the commission to offenders whose interlock is in a permanent lockout status. The duration of the time period that the interlock is unlocked shall not be more than or less than three hours. The code shall only unlock the interlock device and shall not disable other interlock features. Interlock service providers shall not provide an ignition interlock code that disables the ignition interlock features to persons without first obtaining authorization from the commission.

10. The ignition interlock device shall automatically purge alcohol before allowing subsequent analyses.

11. The ignition interlock device shall issue a warning of an impending permanent lockout.

12. The ignition interlock device shall be capable of random retesting and timed retesting.

13. The ignition interlock device shall warn the offender of upcoming service appointments for at least five days prior to the appointment. Should the offender fail to appear, the device shall lock out on the 31st day after the later of the installation date or previous calibration date, and the motor vehicle shall not be operable until the service provider has reset the device.

14. The internal memory of the ignition interlock device shall be capable of recording and storing a minimum of 15,000 interlock events and shall enter a service reminder if the memory reaches 90% of capacity.

15. The ignition interlock device shall be designed and installed in a manner as to minimize opportunities for tampering, alteration, bypass, or circumvention. The ignition interlock device shall not spontaneously bypass the ignition system or starter relay, nor shall it be able to be made operational by a mechanical means of providing air to simulate alveolar breath. Bogus breath anti-circumvention features used to pass laboratory testing of the ignition interlock device shall be turned on. In addition, service providers shall connect the ignition interlock device to a constant and uninterrupted power source to further prevent an opportunity to circumvent the system.

16. The ignition interlock device shall be capable of recording and providing evidence of actual or attempted tampering, alteration, bypass, or circumvention.

17. The ignition interlock device shall operate accurately and reliably at temperatures between -40°C and 85°C.

18. The ignition interlock device shall operate up to altitudes of 2.5 km above sea level.

19. The readings of the ignition interlock device shall not be affected by humidity, dust, electromagnetic interference, smoke, exhaust fumes, food substance, or normal automobile vibration when used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

20. The operation of the ignition interlock device shall not be affected by normal fluctuations of power source voltage.

21. The ignition interlock shall be installed with a fully functional camera that is equipped to record the date, time, and photo of all persons providing accepted breath samples to the ignition interlock device; however, this requirement shall not pertain to motorcycles and mopeds. In addition, service providers are required to present a reference photo of the offender to confirm the offender's identity.

G. All ignition interlock devices that have been approved by the commission shall have affixed a warning label with the following language: "Any person tampering with or attempting to circumvent this ignition interlock system shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and, upon conviction, be subject to a fine or incarceration or both." The cost and supply of the warning labels to be affixed to the ignition interlock devices shall be borne by the manufacturer or service provider. The manufacturer or service provider shall submit to the commission a prototype of the warning label for approval.

H. For initial startup of the motor vehicle:

1. The ignition interlock device shall enable the starter relay after the successful completion of a breath alcohol test.

2. The device shall allow an operator to take up to two minutes after the starter relay is enabled to start the engine.

3. The ignition interlock device shall permit a free restart.

4. If the initial test results in a lockout due to the offender's BAC level, the ignition interlock device shall not allow an additional attempt for five minutes.

5. If the offender's BAC still reaches the fail point on the first retest, the machine shall lock out for an additional 10 minutes and shall do so thereafter for subsequent failed retests. A violation reset message shall instruct the offender to return the ignition interlock device to the service provider for servicing within five days.

6. If the ignition interlock device is not reset within five days, a permanent lockout shall occur.

I. A rolling retest feature is required for all ignition interlock devices. For rolling retests:

1. An ignition interlock device shall require a rolling retest within the first five minutes after the start of the motor vehicle and randomly thereafter at least once every 45 to 60 minutes as long as the motor vehicle is in operation.

2. The ignition interlock device shall produce a visual and audible signal of the need to produce a breath sample for the rolling retest and shall be modified as necessary to accommodate operators who are hearing impaired. The offender shall have 15 minutes to provide the required rolling retest breath sample.

3. A free restart shall not apply if the ignition interlock device was awaiting a rolling retest that was not delivered.

4. A deep lung breath sample at or above the fail point or a failure to provide a rolling retest deep lung breath sample within the required time shall activate the motor vehicle's horn and cause the motor vehicle's headlights, parking lights, emergency lights, or other light source approved by the commission to flash until the engine is shut off by the offender or a passing breath test is provided.

5. Once the vehicle has been turned off, all prestart requirements shall become applicable.

6. The violations reset message shall instruct the offender to return the ignition interlock device to the service provider for servicing within five days.

7. If the ignition interlock device is not reset within five days, a permanent lockout will occur.

J. Additional technical specifications for the operation and installation of the ignition interlock device may be described in the contract between the commission and the service provider.

K. The vendor shall notify the commission in writing if the approval or certification of a device that is approved or has been submitted for approval for use in Virginia is or ever has been denied, withdrawn, suspended, or revoked in another state, whether the action occurred before or after approval in Virginia. This notification shall be made in a timely manner, not to exceed 15 days after the vendor has received notice of the denial, withdrawal, suspension, or revocation of approval or certification of the device, whether or not the action will or has been appealed.

Statutory Authority

§§ 18.2-270.1 and 18.2-270.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 26, Issue 05, eff. January 1, 2010; amended, Virginia Register Volume 32, Issue 21, eff. July 18, 2016.

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