An arrest for drunk driving can come with a myriad of complicated penalties if you are convicted, including the loss of your driving privileges. If you cannot drive, you cannot get to work, take your children to school or even take care of your basic needs, such as going to the doctor or the grocery store.
Your right to drive is worth protecting, and, in some cases, you may be able to restore your driving privileges with the help of an experienced drunk driving defense attorney. If this is an option for you, West Virginia law requires the installation of an ignition interlock device as a condition for the reinstatement of your ability to drive.
Eligibility for the Alcohol Lock and Test Program
Some West Virginia DUI offenders may be eligible to restore their driving privileges by seeking approval for the state's Alcohol Lock and Test Program. According to the terms of this program, you may be able to drive after receiving a DUI conviction by agreeing to the installation of a device in your vehicle that will test your breath every time you drive. You may be eligible for this program if you meet one or more of the following requirements:
- License is not revoked or suspended in any other state
- Have an active, alcohol-related revocation
- Are not appealing the revocation
- Have completed or are currently enrolled in the Safety and Treatment Program
- Have not been convicted of driving on a suspended or revoked license
- Own the vehicle in which the ignition interlock device is to be installed or have written approval from the owner
- Are at least 18 years old
If you get approval for this program, you will receive notification from the Department of Motor Vehicles, along with a list of approved interlock device providers. The installation must take place within six months of receiving notice of approval.
The importance of knowing your options
A DUI is a serious criminal offense, but that does not mean you cannot take certain steps to confront these charges and protect your future interests. It is possible to both protect your right to drive and still seek the best possible outcome to your drunk driving case. A conviction is never your only option, and a thorough investigation into your case can identify the most appropriate defense option for you.