Man says interlock ignition continues to give him troubles with false readings

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – 10 On Your Side continues to follow concerns with ignition interlock systems — that’s the device installed in a car after someone is convicted of driving under the influence. 

The device is meant to make sure the driver is sober before getting behind the wheel.

Josh Atkins has had one in his car for the last 10 months.

“It causes a lot of frustration,” Akins said. “For somebody who is trying to work and trying to pay their bills and trying to make an honest living, this will definitely throw a curve ball in it.”

The interlock ignition was put on Atkins’ car after he was convicted of DUI last March. It has proven to be a costly mistake every month.

“I’ve paid $86 every month, and almost $1500 total,” he said.

Not mention an outstanding attorney bill.

The device won’t allow anyone who has been drinking to get the behind the wheel. Atkins was supposed to get the device removed in October, but it’s still on.

The Alcohol Safety Action Program — or ASAP — says he has violated five times.

Atkins says they are all false readings.

“I’m being forced to keep it in my car for how long — I don’t know,” he said.

Certain foods and chemicals can cause false positives. So can cigarettes.  Atkins is a smoker.

For the last several months, Atkins has been documenting his issues with the device. On many occasions, he has called police to take a breathalyzer test to prove he hadn’t been drinking.

10 On Your Side went to the Virginia Beach ASAP office and was told they couldn’t talk about Atkins’ case. He says he plans to fight this in court. 

“I mean, if you are going to violate somebody, do it for something they did do,” Atkins said. “Don’t violate them for something they didn’t do.”

Atkins will be back in court later this month.


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