DUI bill takes effect in Berkeley, Jefferson Counties

A driver's license is more than just a little plastic card that acts as an official document for identification purposes. It is also the license that gives us the legal authority to drive a car to our job where we earn the living we depend on, to pick up our kids from after-school activities that will help them grow up happy and healthy and to even to bring home the groceries that we'll use for dinner.

Losing a driver's license as a result of a DUI/DWI stop in Berkeley or Jefferson County is often much more than an inconvenience or a complication. A new piece of legislation went into effect in West Virginia that will allow some individuals to enter into a program that requires the installation of an ignition interlock system in lieu of losing their driving privileges.

The Alcohol Test and Lock Program was already been in place, but Senate Bill 434 allows those who face the revocation of their driver’s license to apply before the effective date. Those that are considered repeat offenders may face stricter requirements under the program but can also still apply.

LifeSafer West Virginia’s State Director James Edens is excited about the success that the program has had. In fact, he said that it has proven to have a 90 percent success rate for those that choose to enter the program.

When something appears beneficial in this day and age, individuals often find themselves asking “What’s the catch?” In this case, an individual that chooses to opt into this program and keep their driver’s license will not only have to qualify, but they will have to waive their right to an administrative hearing.

An individual that opts into this program may also be responsible for certain fees associated with participation. He or she may also be required to attend treatment classes as a condition of the Alcohol Test and Lock Program.

Those that have been pulled over for drunk driving in either Berkeley or Jefferson County can discuss their legal options, and the benefits and consequences of each, with an attorney.

Source: WOWK-TV, “New law allows DUI offenders to participate in Interlock program more quickly,” Mandi Cardosi, June 6, 2014

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