Information on What the Ignition Interlock Device Laws Are in The Mountain State of WV
Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, Wheeling, Martinsburg, Clarksburg, Beckley, Fairmount, and all other cities in the state of West Virginia have the same WV Ignition Interlock laws when it comes to a conviction of DUI offense charges. Those persons who are caught driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more will likely be arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The penalties for being convicted of DUI in WV will include jail time, fines, a license suspension, and the possibility of having to get an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in order to get a driver’s license back.
Having a BAC of 0.08 percent is the standard for being charged with drinking and driving related crimes in almost all 50 US states. This is because of research that was conducted to determine the level of alcohol centration that impaired a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle – this research showed that most drivers with a BAC of 0.05 percent were too impaired to drive and a BAC of 0.08 percent was enough for all drivers to be impaired. Additionally, the state of West Virginia can charge commercial drivers with DUI at BACs of 0.04. Even a conviction of a first DUI offense can result in suspended driver’s license, and getting the car Breathalyzer Ignition Interlock device installed in order to drive at all in WV.
What Are the New Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in West Virginia?
As discussed earlier, drivers who are charged and then convicted of a DUI charge offense in the state of West Virginia will face a number of penalties for their crimes. This variety of punishments is used as a deterrent for drivers to not commit drinking and driving offenses again, which not only keeps them safe from harm but also protects other drivers and pedestrians on the road. First time DUI offenders in the state of West Virginia, or those with no previous drinking and driving offenses, face some if not all of the following penalties:
- Up to Six Months in Jail
- Fines Between $100 and $1,000
- Driver’s License Suspension of 15 to 45 Days
- Possibility of Having to Use an Car Breathalyzer Interlock Device
West Virginia currently enforces a 10 year “look-back period,” or a period of time in which previous DUI convictions count against an offender’s current sentencing. 2nd DUI offense drivers in the state of West Virginia, or those with one previous drinking and driving offense within the last 10 years, face some if not all of the following penalties:
- Six to 12 Months in Jail
- Fines Between $1,000 and $3,000
- Driver’s License Suspension of One Year
- WV DUI Interlock Installation Requirement
3rd offense DUI drivers in the state of West Virginia, or those with two previous drinking and driving offenses within the last 10 years, face some if not all of the following penalties:
- One to Three Years in Jail
- Fines Between $3,00 to $5,000
- WV Driver’s License Suspension of One Year
- Required to Install an Ignition Interlock For At Least 2 Years On Average
What is an Ignition Interlock Device, and How Does It Work Under New WV DUI Laws?
An alcohol Interlock is type of a Breathalyzer device installed in a DUI offender’s vehicle and integrates with the vehicle’s ignition system. Much like a traditional Breathalyzer test device in West Virginia used by police officers, an IID measures the BAC in a user’s system by taking a breath sample. When offenders wish to start their car, they need to blow into the device to provide their sample – should this sample read below the predetermined threshold, which is usually set to 0.02 percent, the vehicle starts and operates normally. Should the sample be above the threshold, the vehicle does not start.
In some cases, the Ignition Interlock can also be programmed to provide random resampling while the vehicle is in motion. When prompted, drivers need to provide another sample by blowing into the device – should this sample read above the threshold, the event is logged and an alarm sounds, indicating the vehicle needs to be pulled over and turned off. The IID does not stop the vehicle, as this is dangerous for all drivers on the road. This retesting is meant to prevent another individual from providing the initial sample and allowing offenders to drive intoxicated.
When is Getting an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of West Virginia?
The state of West Virginia has sanctioned the use of IIDs for certain drivers who have been found guilty of DUI or another drinking and driving related offense. The court allows for the installation, maintenance, and use of IIDs as a condition of having a convicted offender’s driving privileges reinstated. This can be authorized in the following 5 types of common DUI conviction scenarios:
- People whose WV driver’s license has been revoked because of a DUI related charge.
- Individuals who are serving a term of condition for probation.
- A driver who was charged with first time DUI may elect a 15-day license revocation and four months of driving with an IID (in certain cases).
- A person who refused to submit to the Breathalyzer or Blood test must use an Interlock for one year.
- Individuals who are convicted of a second or subsequent DUI charge must use an IID for two years.
Who is Responsible for Paying for All the Costs of the WV Ignition Interlock Device?
In any WV DUI case where the use of an Interlock is authorized by the court, offenders using the device are responsible for paying all costs associated with the device. These costs often include leasing the device, installing the device, and paying for routine maintenance. Offenders should be prepared to pay between $75 and $125 monthly to lease the device and around $100 to have the device professionally installed. Keep in mind these are just price estimates – some IID providers may charge more or less in fees to lease the Ignition Interlock device.
What is the Process of Having the Ignition Interlock Device Installed in a Car in West Virginia?
After court authorization has been given to use an Ignition Interlock device, convicted DUI offenders will need to get the device from a state approved IID provider for West Virginia. State approved IID providers can be found all over the state, and a full list of these providers can be acquired by contacting the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles website. It is important to ensure the IID provider is in fact state approved in order for the installation and use of the IID to be considered valid for driver’s license reinstatement.
Once the Interlock device has been leased, offenders also need to ensure the device is professionally installed in their vehicle – and possibly other vehicles registered in their name – to the state’s standards again for the use of the IID to be considered valid. After this process is completed, it may be required for offenders to report back to the judge, the court, their probation officer, or the DMV and to provide a copy of the device’s lease agreement as well as a copy of the receipt of the device’s installation. When a West Virginia Ignition Interlock attorney reviews a driver’s own arrest circumstances online with us, they will then be able to communicate back with a driver of any possible ways or defense strategies for how to avoid having to get and install an Ignition Interlock device in:
[column col=”1/4″]Barbour County
[column col=”1/4″]Marion County
[column col=”1/4″]Tucker County