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Ignition interlocks in wide use with new law

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The number of drunk drivers ordered to install breathalyzers in their vehicles has risen 75 percent in Virginia over the last year as a result of a new law.

About 8,500 drivers convicted of a DUI were enrolled in Virginia’s ignition interlock program during the first 11-month period after the enactment of the tougher law.

That’s according to data from the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program released by AAA Mid-Atlantic.

The new law requires first-time DUI offenders to place the breathalyzer device in every vehicle they own and operate. The court-ordered device measures the offender’s blood alcohol concentration level.

The auto club says 229 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in Virginia in 2012. That figure is nearly a third of all traffic fatalities in the state last year.

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