Driving on a West Virginia Suspended License?

West Virginia suspended license violationsWest Virginia may not require you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) after your DUI, but you will face a license suspension through the DMV if it’s not suspended by the court itself. An IID is only required by law after an aggravated DUI (BAC of .15 percent or above) or after two more offenses within a ten-year period. Without the device, West Virginia suspended license periods last longer and can have harsher consequences for driving illegally. 

A West Virginia suspended license is a stepping stone to resuming your normal driving life.

When you keep driving on a West Virginia suspended license, you’re risking even more penalties. If your license was revoked for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or refusing to take a test to determine whether you are intoxicated, your sentence may involve:

  • First offense: A fine between $100 and $500 and between 30 days and six months in jail.
  • Second offense: A fine between $1,000 and $3,000 and between six months and one year in jail.
  • Third (or subsequent) offense: A fine between $3,000 and $5,000 and between one year and three years in prison, along with the possibility that the crime be considered a felony.
  • With a BAC between .02 and .08: Your sentence may involve a fine between $50 and $500 and 24 hours in jail.
  • Your license may also be suspended or revoked for an additional period of time, depending on the circumstances.

Although it may seem harmless to ignore your DUI sentencing or probation, getting your license and freedom back after a conviction should be a top priority. That means serving the full time for your suspended license and/or installing an IID as mandated by the court or DMV. Considering the alternative, your best bet to getting your life back is to avoid any more legal issues involving your driving record.

New York Conditional License Program

New York conditional licenseA New York conditional license can be issued to drivers who have had their license suspended or revoked due to a DWI or DUID violation. This is an administrative action, separate from a criminal conviction in the state, and subject to change if there is a DUI conviction. After a person is arrested and charged with a DWI, he or she has have to apply for the conditional license and attend an IDP (Impaired Driver Program), once the license is approved.

The New York Conditional license is a restricted license that allows you to take care of personal commitments.

If you qualify for the license, you will only be able to drive under certain circumstances. For example, a New York conditional license will allow alleged offenders the freedom to drive:

  • To and from their place of employment.
  • Their child to school or daycare if necessary to maintain employment or for their own enrollment in school, college or any state approved training programs.
  • If their job requires it, except for commercial driver’s license (CDL) drivers.
  • To any classes authorized by the IDP are also.
  • To any medical or clinical appointments.
  • To the DMV office if summoned to conduct any business related to their license or the program.

Your conditional license will be revoked if you are caught drinking and driving again, or any other moving violation (no seat belts, reckless driving, etc.).

When you have a conditional license in New York, if you are convicted of a DWI, you will still have an ignition interlock requirement. New York has an all-offender interlock requirement that has set the bar high for other states to follow, while keeping its streets safe from drunk drivers. Until you are ordered to install the device, however, the conditional license allows you the ability to legally drive. That keeps you moving in the right direction while you prepare for your day in DWI court.

It Could Be Worse: Losing Your License After a New York DWI

New York DWI license suspensionLosing your driver’s license is a big deal. It can be a blow to your self-esteem or it can affect your employment. It is, honestly, a pretty drastic measure taken by your state to keep you from repeating an irresponsible choice, like driving under the influence of alcohol. In New York, as soon as you are arrested for a DWI, you are subjected to the state’s “Prompt Suspension” law. In other words, as soon as you are arrested for DWI, you will lose your license to drive.

The majority of states have a similar policy to New York’s when it comes to a DWI. If you are booked, you lose your license until you get back into court for your DWI hearing. Until then, you have a suspended license, but with a small grace period (10 days in New York) so you can get your affairs in order.  After that, in order to resume driving, you will have to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. If you are convicted of a DWI in New York, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device, as well, even if it is your first DWI conviction.

New York may also require that you attend a victims’ impact panel or that you complete a substance abuse evaluation. If your blood alcohol concentration is significantly higher than the .08 percent “per se” legal limit, the time you are required to use and maintain an ignition interlock could increase.

The prompt suspension isn’t a bad thing, really. In states like New York where the DWI law allows for a prompt, administrative suspension of a driver’s license, more options are opened up to the offender to jump start the recovery process. Mistakes happen, and when you have a chance to do better, there is nothing stopping you from cleaning up your mess and moving along. A license suspension after a DWI in New York could be the chance you need to get yourself together and enough reason to pledge to never drive while intoxicated, again.

Get on the Bus: Habitual Drinking and Driving in New York

Suspended license or ignition interlockBad habits are hard to break, and when it comes to habitual drinking and driving, there’s a lot more to consider than a one-time error in judgment. Habitual drinking and driving has many causes that are best left to professionals in that field, but, habitual drinking and driving can also be stopped in its tracks when it comes to driving privileges.

New York State has taken some major steps in reducing the number of drunk drivers on the road. The state requires ignition interlock devices for all DWI offenders, with extra tough penalties for DWI child endangerment and other aggravating factors in any drinking and driving incident. New York also has reduced the number of habitual drunk drivers on the roads by simply denying them a license to drive… perhaps forever.

A downside to this policy for habitual DWI offenders is the “habit factor.” If a person who feels they can drink and drive only sees the open road, and not a suspended or revoked license, they’re likely to still commit the same crime. A suspended or revoked license doesn’t stop an engine from starting, or make a DWI offender rethink their level of sobriety, which is why ignition interlocks are there to fill in that habitual offender gap, before even more damage is done.

Habitual drinking and driving destroys lives, whether the victims that are harmed during a DWI accident or the family, friends and loved ones of the offender. There are all types of ways to reach a habitual offender and get them back on a safe road to a better life. Taking away the temptation to drink or the ability to legally drive are important aspects of rehabilitation, but, the surefire way to keep a  habitual drunk driver from hurting anyone else is with an ignition interlock device.

Missouri Culinary Students Can “Taste” Alcohol

cooking-wine-drunk-drivingFood can be a passion, whether you’re a gourmet chef or a blogging “foodie,” the ability to create and consume tasty snacks and meals is a delicious aspect of life. Food, much like alcohol, is a common, social activity, too, and there are plenty of people who want to be the next Top Chef or simply learn how to cook a delicious meal for family and friends. For the chef-sighted people, the next stop is a great culinary school where all aspects of cooking are learned, including how to use alcohol in different foods. But, a fresh-out-of-high-school culinary student isn’t technically old enough to consume the alcohol they’re using at school. Zero tolerance means zero tolerance in most states… so what if alcohol is part of your job, and you need to taste it to get an “A” in your class?

In Missouri, you can taste that alcohol.

Missouri allows culinary students under the age of 21 to drink alcohol, under certain circumstances.

  • You must be enrolled in a culinary school or a course in culinary arts in Missouri.
  • You must be 18 or older.
  • You are required to taste (not consume) alcohol as part of your education.
  • Your supervisor is 21 or older and is in possession of the alcohol.

Of course, none of that says you can swallow or ingest the alcohol. It is all about taste and adding flavor to food. That also means that if you are a culinary student who is caught drinking and driving, you’ll face Missouri’s underage drinking laws if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit reflects more than a “taste” or two of alcohol. You may not be required to install an ignition interlock device, but, your 90-day license suspension may make you wish you had the option to do so.

What a Mississippi ALR Suspension Means for You

Stopped for drunk drivingIn Mississippi, if you are stopped because you appear to be drunk while driving, you have plenty of challenges ahead of you. During that traffic stop, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, or if you refuse the breathalyzer, the police officer will immediately suspend your license on behalf of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. This “ALR Procedure” is an “administrative license revocation,” a public policy that 42 states currently use in order to have the authority to stop a drunk driver from re-offending even before they get into a courtroom.

If your license is suspended as an ALR procedure, you will be given a grace period to contest your suspension with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. That gives you 10 days to get your affairs in order, consult an attorney and find out all of your legal rights. If you choose not to contest the suspension, on the 11th day after your arrest, your license will be fully suspended for 90 days. However, after 30 days of your full suspension, you can install an ignition interlock device and resume driving with a restricted license. Remember, however, that you will still have a judicial hearing, and that both cases can have different consequences for your situation.

Even with the best of intentions, we all make mistakes and can misjudge how much alcohol we’ve had to drink. Since Mississippi and a majority of other states are allowing their agencies that control driver’s licenses to take the first step in any drunk driving conviction or incident, there is little room for anyone to misjudge their BAC or have “one for the road.” Your best bet, if you’ve been drinking, is to find a safe and sober ride home… and everyone on that road will be grateful you did.

Losing Your License after a New York DWI

ignition interlockThere is never a good time to drink and drive, and fewer people see those actions as a harmless crime than ever, especially those who lost a loved one due to a drunk driver. Despite falling statistics, drinking and driving still takes up the time and resources of law enforcement and the court system, a problem that makes more taxpayers foot the bill for alcohol-induced choices. While interventions like ignition interlock devices are finding success in reducing rates of drunk driving after a DWI conviction, there are still people who continue to drink and drive up until that day in court.

In New York, however, you don’t have any time drink and drive again. The moment you are charged with a DWI or DWAI in New York, you will have your license suspended. The “Prompt Suspension” law does not remove your ability to drive entirely, as you will be allowed 10 days to drive if you plan to challenge the DWI charge in court so that you can be prepared to face a judge. If you do not challenge the DWI charge or you lose that challenge, your license will be suspended on the 11th day, after which you will have to face the full extent of your DWI conviction requirements, including installing an ignition interlock device.

Once you have satisfied the court’s requirements for your DWI and you have installed an ignition interlock device, your ability to legally drive will be restored. Any DWI offender in New York is required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in exchange for a restricted driver’s license that allows “necessary” driving to and from court-approved destinations.

Even with the success of an ignition interlock device in keeping drunk drivers off the road, the best solution is to never attempt to drive after consuming alcohol. Each moment you are sober behind the wheel is just one less chance at losing your ability to drive for any length of time, and it keeps us all from bearing the burden of your choice to drink and drive.

Fun Fact: Ignition Interlock Devices Restore Licenses in Missouri

ignition interlockNobody plans to be arrested and charged with a DWI. Most of the time, a person chooses to drive after drinking without realizing they’re over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit. That mistake will lead you directly into legal troubles for drinking and driving, including facing a judge and the penalties for your crime. In Missouri, a DWI means that you will have fines and court costs to pay, and you will have to install an ignition interlock on your car for the offense. But, before you even have your day in court, you might want to have the device installed so that you can at least drive yourself there.

Since Missouri has an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) policy for anyone who is charged with DWI, you will immediately lose your license once you are arrested and charged with drinking and driving. In a sense, this policy helps keep you from drinking and driving until you stand before a judge in court, a process that usually involves a lengthy wait. However, after you have served out 30 days of your ALR suspension, you can reinstate your license as long as you have an ignition interlock device installed.

This restricted license will allow you to continue to work and attend any appointments or meetings required by an administrative law court. You will not be granted the license for any purposes other than what is deemed necessary under the circumstances of your ALR.  Keep in mind that your administrative hearing is not your judicial hearing, and you will have more consequences to face.

By opting for an ignition interlock before your judicial DWI court case, you are showing that judge that you understand the serious nature of your crime, and that you are taking steps to ensure you will never drink and drive again. The ability to drive is essential for many, especially when it comes to staying employed and fulfilling family responsibilities. It is also an essential part of reducing the chances of another DWI and keeping the roads safe for everyone.



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