Ignition Interlock Laws in West Virginia
West Virginia state laws require individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) to participate in the state’s Alcohol Test and Lock Program (ATLP). The program is administered by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and requires offenders to install ignition interlock devices (IID) in their vehicles. In addition to participating in the ATLP, offenders must enroll within 60 days of receiving their IID installation and must successfully complete the state’s safety and treatment program before exiting the ATLP. Offenders convicted of drug-related DUIs are not eligible for the ATLP.
The offender must obtain the IID from a service provider that is approved by the state such as Lifesafer Ignition Interlock. The IID is connected to the vehicle’s ignition system and requires the offender to submit breath samples into the device. The offender must submit a breath sample prior to starting the vehicle. If the IID detects a breath alcohol content that is higher than a pre-set limit of .025 & above, the vehicle will not start. While the offender is operating the vehicle, the IID alerts the driver to submit a breath sample. These mandatory “rolling re-tests” are conducted at random times and measure the driver’s breath alcohol content (BAC) . If the offender’s breath alcohol content is above the pre-set limit or if the offender fails to provide a breath sample, the IID triggers the vehicle’s horn. The horn will continue to be activated until the offender turns off the vehicle or submits a clean breath sample.
DUI convictions in West Virginia result in the revocation of driving privileges. As part of the ATLP, offenders must serve minimum periods of the revocation and only operate IID-equipped vehicles. For a first-time DUI conviction involving a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 to 0.149, the offender must serve a minimum of 15 days of the revocation period and have the IID installed for a minimum of 125 days. For a first-time DUI conviction involving refusal of a secondary chemical test, the offender must serve a minimum of 45 days of the revocation period and have the IID installed for a minimum of one year. First-time convictions involving BACs of 0.15 or higher result in minimum revocation periods of 45 days and minimum IID requirements of 275 days. If the offender is convicted of a first-time DUI offense that results in the death of another person, the minimum revocation period is six months and the IID is required for a minimum of two years. If the offender is convicted of a first-time DUI offense that results in the death of another person due to reckless disregard, the minimum revocation period is 12 months and the IID is required for a minimum of two years. A first-time conviction for DUI that causes bodily injury to another person results in a minimum revocation period of two months and a minimum IID requirement of one year. A first-time conviction for a BAC of 0.08 or higher with minor children in the vehicle or a subsequent DUI conviction within ten years of a previous DUI conviction results in a minimum revocation period of two months and an IID requirement for a minimum of ten months.
Under certain circumstances, the court adds time to the IID requirement. If a minor is in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, the court adds two months to the IID requirement. The court adds six months to the IID requirement if a person other than the driver is injured as a result of the DUI. If the DUI caused injury to another person that resulted in the person’s death, the court adds one year to the IID requirement. Violating the requirements of the ATLP, including any violations of the service provider agreement, results in the extension of the revocation and IID requirement.
If an individual is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and is allowed to operate a vehicle owned by another person, the owner of the vehicle is subject to having all driving privileges revoked and being placed under an IID restriction. If the owner of the vehicle is a first-time offender, the vehicle owner’s driving privileges are revoked for a minimum of six months and the IID requirement is for a minimum of two years.
The offender must install an IID on any and all vehicles owned or operated by the offender. Offenders who operate vehicles that are not IID-equipped commit a misdemeanor, serve one to six months in jail and pay a fine of $100 to $500. The offender may operate an employer-owned vehicle at the offender’s job site if the operation of the vehicle is a condition of employment. The job site must not include any street or highway open for public use.
The offender must have the IID serviced by the service provider at the frequency specified by the service provider. During the service appointment, the service provider inspects the device for evidence of tampering, circumventing and bypassing. Any individual who attempts to bypass the device, including the offender or a person acting on behalf of the offender, is subject to jail time of up to six months and a fine of $100 to $1,000.
The offender is responsible for any and all costs associated with the install ignition interlock device. The offender must pay a user fee to the court. Fees paid to the service provider include the purchase, installation, maintenance and removal of the IID. If the offender can demonstrate indigent status to the court, the installation and removal fees may be waived.