Gov. Bob McDonnell signed two bills in Virginia Beach Tuesday that require ignition interlocks for people convicted with a DUI for the first time.
McDonnell spoke about the bills with reporters Tuesday in Dale City Tuesday, where he attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for extended Express Lanes on I-95.
McDonnell signed House Bill 279 (Iaquinto) and its companion Senate Bill 378 (McEachin), which requires "all individuals convicted of driving under the influence, including first-time offenders, to operate only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device when driving on a restricted license."
"Ignition interlock devices will be installed and monitored at the expense of the offender," stated a release from McDonnell's office. "Prior to this legislation, Virginia law required ignition interlock devices when the offender's blood alcohol level was 0.15 or greater or after a second or subsequent DUI offense."
In 2011, 245 people were killed in crashes in Virginia where alcohol was a factor. Another 5,465 people received injuries, according to Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles DUI statistics. This number of people killed in 2011 was a decrease of close to 50 percent from 1986.
"No family should have to hear the news that their loved one was killed or injured by a drunk driver," stated McDonnell in a release.
The legislation went into effect July 1.