West Virginia recently enacted a new law that focuses on the statewide drunk driving problem. The new WV interlock program changes current options for a person who has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in the state, allowing him or her to install an ignition interlock device on his or her car and possibly forego a costly court case.
This WV interlock program, known as the “Alcohol Test and Lock Program” went into effect on June 6, 2014, and will accept applications from those willing to waive a court trial. In exchange, the offenders must then install and use an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicles driven. According to lawmakers in the state, there could be additional stipulations, such as attending classes for alcohol awareness and drunk driving prevention.
Law enforcement in West Virginia is confident that through this WV interlock program, more people will be able to avoid suspension of driving privileges. Despite tough drunk driving laws in West Virginia, and across the country, it is too common for a person with a suspended license to continue to drive. If that person is a convicted drunk driving offender, the possibility of continuing to drive while intoxicated, even on a suspended license, is fairly high. This WV interlock program hopes to reduce the danger of drunk drivers through the use of an IID.
An IID is a solution for anyone who has made the choice to drive drunk, but must still have transportation for work, school, medical or other personal obligations. The new WV interlock program does not excuse the crime of driving drunk, instead, it provides a better level of security for anyone on the road through the constant monitoring of sobriety before a vehicle starts, and while it is in motion.