Guess How to Get a Washington Ignition Interlock Violation

Washington State Ignition Interlock Tampering ViolationsWhen you have a DUI or drunk driving conviction in Washington State, you also have an ignition interlock requirement. You’re pretty lucky, as there are states in which you face different restrictions, including a suspended license and no ability to drive yourself around. Still, ignition interlock devices are seen as an inconvenience, something to just deal with, not a quick solution to maintaining life as it was before a DUI.

That’s probably how this guy forgot he was tampering with his Washington State ignition interlock device.

In case anyone else experiences this same memory loss, perhaps it is best to remind the public that tampering with an ignition interlock device is a crime. Crimes carry criminal penalties. In this case, the Washington state ignition interlock tampering will result in a suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Your one-year ignition interlock requirement will no longer count toward the penalties placed upon you when convicted of your DUI. You will not be able to drive, even with the ignition interlock device, until your full driver’s license suspension is up.

You could also have more penalties, like another DUI charge, depending on the circumstances surrounding the ignition interlock tampering. Washington state requires ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving convictions. If that is not enough to get you to call for a safe ride home, think of the potential you have to destroy the lives of others… all because you refused to admit you were not okay to drive.

Frankly stated, when you have an ignition interlock requirement, the easiest way to get your life back is to just use the device as instructed, for as long as you are required to do so. Once you have completed the time, you can then look forward to completely restoring your freedom and independence, with a much better understanding of the reasons we do not drive under the influence of alcohol.

West Virginia Aggravated DUIs Are Nationally Significant

West Virginia Aggravated DUIDUI laws have existed in the United States since 1910. New York and New Mexico paved the way for other states to begin passing laws regulating what should happen to those operating conveyances under the influence of alcohol. Now all 50 states have DUI laws that regulate everything from underage drunk drivers to dealing with aggravating circumstances.

Aggravated DUI laws come into play in most states at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15%, some states have higher BAC levels, and drastically increase punishments. In several states, an aggravated DUI is automatically considered a felony, even for a first offense. A West Virginia aggravated DUI charge occurs at .15% and it is considered a misdemeanor level offense unless there are previous DUI convictions or other aggravating factors, such as a DUI accident related death or serious injury.

A West Virginia aggravated DUI conviction increases the state’s mandatory minimum penalties for a regular DUI, which include both administrative and criminal penalties. Administrative penalties include the automatic suspension of your license at the scene of the DUI traffic stop. You will be granted 30 days in which to request a hearing to fight the administrative license suspension. Criminal penalties include:

       Jail time: There’s no mandatory minimum for a first offense, unless you are charged with a West Virginia Aggravated DUI which carries a minimum of 48 hours in jail with up to 6 months as the maximum.

       Fines of $100-$500 plus court costs or $100-$1,000 plus court costs if it’s an aggravated DUI.

       License suspended for 15-45 days as long as you install an ignition interlock device (IID) that will be required for 125 days or 6 months without an IID. If you refuse BAC testing your license will be suspended for a year with the possibility of an ignition interlock device after 45 days.

Penalties for DUIs are serious and have long-reaching consequences. Regardless of your location in the United States, laws governing DUIs are strict and meant to discourage offenders from ever getting behind the wheel. 

Educate Your Teens About Iowa Underage OWIs

Iowa underage OWIUnderage drinking is a growing problem in the United States. Drinking and driving incidents involving young people are on the rise. Teens need to be informed of the dangers and consequences of underage drinking, especially if they’re licensed drivers who may get behind the wheel. Many states have now adopted some form of a zero tolerance law when it comes to underage OWIs.

An Iowa underage OWI carries both administrative penalties and criminal consequences if you’re convicted. If you’re pulled over and your BAC is .02% or higher you can be subjected to an administrative license revocation. They will automatically suspend your license for 60 to 90 days depending on the number of offenses.

If convicted of an Iowa underage OWI, you will be subjected to the same criminal punishments as any other OWI offender. For your first offense, if your BAC is under .08%, your license will be suspended for 6 months and you will not be eligible for a temporary restricted license for 60 days. You can obtain a temporary restricted license with the use of an ignition interlock device. If your BAC is above .08%, fines of $625 to $1,250 and jail time of 2 days to a year will be added to your suspension time.

On top of the administrative and criminal punishments for the Iowa underage OWI, you can be subjected to other penalties from charges such as minor in possession or soliciting alcohol. Driving under the influence will be punished quickly and harshly, especially if you’re underage. You will not be given a pass for being young, you will be punished to the full extent of the law.

Parents make sure you discuss the responsibilities associated with being a licensed driver with your children, including making wise choices when it comes to drugs and/or alcohol. Let them fly, but make sure they’re flying safely.

Lose the Loophole: Missouri Ignition Interlock Exemption

Missouri ignition interlock employment exemptionWhen you have a Missouri DWI you likely have a Missouri ignition interlock device, so that you can keep your job and any other obligations moving along. In some cases your job may require you to drive a company-owned vehicle, which leaves you in a bit of a pickle. You are not supposed to drive any vehicle unless it has an interlock installed, but you do not own the vehicle your boss needs you to drive. When you are a business owner, that may seem like a pretty easy way to get out of an interlock requirement.

However, a new bill has been introduced in the Missouri legislature that closes that tempting loophole, leaving you with the same problem as everyone else… and no chance at a Missouri ignition interlock employment exemption.

Missouri ignition interlock devices are required for some first-time and all second or subsequent DWI offenses. Offenders who wish to install the device may be eligible for an interlock license through the DMV.

Currently, anyone can be eligible for the Missouri ignition interlock employment exemption, if their job requires driving a company vehicle. If allowed by the court, a DWI offender can have their employer sign an affidavit that affirms they understand all about the drunk driving conviction and restrictions placed on their employee. On top of that, they take responsibility for their employee who must drive a company vehicle during work hours. For business owners or self-employed individuals, taking that responsibility is basically allowing a pass on the ignition interlock device.

Ignition interlocks only work if they are used, and if there is nothing stopping a convicted offender from drinking and driving again, they could easily re-offend. By closing up this loophole for self-employed or business owners in Missouri, we are all granted the peace of mind of safer streets and DWI offenders who cannot get around the consequences of their actions.

Weird DUI Excuses: How to (NOT) Get Out of a DUI

get out of a DUILaw enforcement officers have it tough, especially when it comes to tracking down drunk drivers. If you can imagine a day filled with trying to interpret what these men and women are actually saying through slurred speech and indignant attitudes, it is probably enough to make an officer want to drink alongside their suspects. As such, we want to make our police friends’ lives a little easier by listing off a few reasons you should not use to get out of a DUI.

  1. I only had one drink. One drink is rarely enough to cause an officer to suspect you for drunk driving. One drink, plus a few other drinks in a short period of time is actually how your claim of one tiny, itty bitty drink is being translated. Plus, once you blow into a breathalyzer your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will bust your claim.
  2. I’m a better driver after a few beers. We are better karaoke singers, entrepreneurs, and life coaches after a few beers, too. Because alcohol reduces our inhibitions, allowing us the false sense of security that we are better at doing all the things because alcohol says we are. Alcohol lies, and you’re not a better driver, otherwise, you wouldn’t be questioned about why you are driving dangerously.
  3. I didn’t want to leave my car. Well, yes, logistically, leaving your car at a bar or restaurant means you have to make an additional trip to get it back the next day when you are sober so that you don’t hurt anyone on your way home. Police officers totally get why you are putting efficiency way ahead of public safety concerns.

The only way to get out of a DUI is to stay sober when driving.

Sober driving requires no excuses to law enforcement, a judge or anyone else who may be affected by your drunk driving. You don’t have to worry about ways to get out of a DUI, a criminal conviction, ignition interlock requirement or any of that hassle.

Can You Expunge a First-Offense Virginia DUI Conviction?

expunging a Virginia DUIVirginia is tough on drunk driving. Not only is there an all-offender ignition interlock policy, but the state requires those devices to have a camera installed to ensure the person driving is the person submitting a breath sample. Beyond that, the state stands behind the other tough penalties for drinking and driving, including keeping a conviction on a criminal record for life. Also, unlike many other states, there is no expunging a Virginia DUI, no matter how much you may regret your mistake.

Last year, Virginia’s SB22 is was favored, but it stalled in the Commonwealth’s legislature.  The bill focused on expunging the following alcohol- or drug-related convictions and deferred disposition dismissals only if they occurred before the offender turned 21:

  • Marijuana possession
  • Underage alcohol possession.
  • Using a fake ID to purchase alcohol.

Still, the state wasn’t addressing expunging any DUIs, showing just how committed it is to creating safe roads and enforcing accountability. Instead, a first-offense DUI is eligible for VASAP, the Virginia Alcohol Safety Administration Program. Not only does VASAP monitor the ignition interlock requirement, but it provides services for alcohol addiction or dependence and education programs. That may not be a huge consolation for anyone looking to have a Virginia DUI expunged, but it does allow plenty of chances to ensure you will never drink and drive again.

There is one way to ensure you never have to deal with the struggle of a Virginia DUI on your record – don’t drink and drive. There are plenty of ways to get home safely that will eliminate the possibility of drunk driving. With such tough laws, a mandatory ignition interlock requirement and no hope of expunging a Virginia DUI, you may as well go ahead and make a safe ride home part of your plans before you head out to the party.

Your First Iowa OWI is a Big Deal

first offense Iowa OWINobody sets out to be a drunk driver, but each day people still find themselves in trouble for operating while intoxicated. An Iowa OWI is no walk in the park. A first offense may not have life-shaking penalties, but it is designed to ensure you think twice before you head out for a night of drinking.

Iowa OWI law says it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Iowa under the following conditions:

  • While under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, drugs or a combination of both substances.
  • While having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more.
  • While having any amount of a drug, intoxicating substance or controlled substance in one’s body.

First offense Iowa OWI consequences include:

  • Misdemeanor criminal record.
  • Up to one hear in jail, 48 hours minimum.
  • Up to $1,250 in fines.
  • Possible community service.
  • Enrollment in a substance abuse evaluation and treatment program.

One thing that could make all the difference in moving past your Iowa OWI is qualifying for a restricted driver’s license by installing an ignition interlock device. The state does not require interlocks for a first offense OWI, but you do have the option to install the device after serving 90 days of your license suspension.

There is one easy solution to avoiding all of the trouble that goes along with a first offense Iowa OWI. If you know you will be drinking, then you can make a plan for a safe ride home as part of your celebration. It takes only a few minutes to get your ride in place, and when you wake up the next day, safely in your own bed, you’ll be a lot happier for taking that time.

Fighting Florida DUI By Skipping the Tow Truck.

bars prevent Florida duiFlorida drunk driving laws still need a lot of work – expanding the state’s ignition interlock law, for example. It’s not surprising that MADD reports that Florida is having a tough time keeping drunk drivers off the roads. What is surprising is that the state is not making any new laws that address DUI prevention.

But there’s still hope for reducing Florida DUI numbers, because not everyone is so convinced that the status quo is cool. In Manatee County lawmakers are giving a little grace to those who are making the right choice after a night of drinking. The county has banned bars from towing the cars of customers who leave them overnight.

Before now a person person leaving a vehicle at a bar or other area overnight because they’ve had too much to drink could have it towed or impounded. Such measures lead people to drink and drive. Few people, even intoxicated ones, want the hassle and additional expense of an impounded vehicle. Giving these well-intentioned drinkers a break helps them out and promotes public safety as well.

Florida DUI numbers show a startling reality in the state: in 2016, there were 31,783 arrests and 797 drunk driving fatalities that accounted for 27 percent of all traffic deaths. That is a 14.8 percent increase in DUI fatalities from last year.

We would all love to see Florida join the other states with all-offender ignition interlock laws, but until then we can at least see the good that is happening in smaller constituencies across the state. Plus we can all applaud those who are taking road safety seriously by never getting behind the wheel of a car if they’ve been drinking. At the end of a fun night with friends, if the worst “morning after” feeling is the inconvenience of retrieving your car from the bar, then it is safe to say that we all benefit from the many different strategies by law makers and citizens to keep our streets safe.

On the Road: Memorial Day Safety Tips

Memorial Day Road SafetyHappy Memorial Day! This is one of the biggest weekends of the summer for road travel, whether you’re heading to the beach for a mini-vacation with your kids or a romantic getaway with your main squeeze. The three-day weekend practically screams it is time to get away, but that also means there are plenty of other drivers on the road heading the same direction as you are.

Staying safe this Memorial Day means you may need:

  • A vehicle tune up. Being on the road after a long winter can take a toll on your vehicle. Make sure you’re in good shape before heading out in the family car for the break.
  • To obey the rules of the road. This means you need to wear your seat belt, and so does everyone else in the car. Don’t speed and allow additional time due to busy roads.
  • A promise to never drink and drive. A DUI is the last type of memory you want at any time of the year. Starting off the summer with a drunk driving charge (or worse) is nobody’s idea of a party, and you’ll likely end up with more than an ignition interlock device as a result.

Remember that Memorial Day also requires many more law enforcement officers on the roads, whether patrolling for drunk drivers, operating DUI checkpoints or just driving during the normal course of the day. Those men and women especially deserve to be safe, considering the risks they take each day protecting our lives and families.

There will be plenty of chances to get away over the summer, and there’s no reason to risk your life or the lives of others by being in a hurry to get out of town. Remember that no matter what time of the year it is, we should always do our best to remain safe when driving, ensuring that we get to our destinations, and allowing that same respect to other drivers on the road.

Kids These Days, Preventing Colorado DUI Driving

Colorado DUI prevention developed by teenagersIf you are a parent, or just an adult with eyes, you’ve probably made some sort of “get off my lawn” comment about teenagers and their smartphones. We get it. We grew up without seat belts and staying outside until the street lights came on. Today’s kids have different challenges and better tools to get around those challenges. No more boredom waiting for appetizers to be served, or time wasted staring at the giant TV screen, right? Actually, some of those pesky kids are doing some great things while staring at those tiny screens: preventing Colorado DUI disasters.

Not only did these two Colorado teens invent an app to help reduce Colorado DUIs, they also got to the heart of the problem for many DUI drivers: leaving their car at the scene of their intoxication. Research shows that for many, leaving their vehicle at a bar or restaurant is one of the biggest reasons they will opt to drive home themselves. Intoxicated judgment says that it will be a hassle to come back and get their car the next day, and it’s just a few miles away or they’ll take the back roads. Intoxicated reality says that’s a definite DUI disaster waiting to happen, with an ignition interlock device as the best case scenario. By pairing up (armed with a smartphone), this duo is getting Colorado DUI drivers home safely, and their vehicles, too.

Say what you want about those smartphone-staring teens, you gotta hand it to these two for using that neck-cranking stare for good, not evil. Not only is technology becoming one of the strongest tools in the battle against drunk driving, but it is also empowering our youth to make a difference, too. Colorado DUI prevention isn’t just up to law enforcement, but to anyone who can step up and give people safe options. When we all work together, we can make a big difference in lives, even in the lives of people we may never meet.