What is The Interstate Driver’s License Compact?

Interstate driver’s license compactWhen you’re 16 years old and you’re attempting to get your driver’s license, you know just how valuable that piece of paper is. It means freedom, and although most drivers would do anything to protect that freedom to drive, there are a lot of people who ignore the rules and regulations of having a driver’s license.

When you accept a driver’s license in your state, you accept the conditions behind it. In addition to speeding beyond the speed limit, drinking and driving is one condition people break every single day. Because of that, each state needs to keep track of who has been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or who has had their license suspended. That way a person won’t have their license suspended in one state and be able to just cruise over to another and get another license.

To keep track, most states participate in the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. The compact is a contract in which participating states agree to honor each other’s suspension requirements. That means if you’ve been arrested and convicted in any participating state, that suspension and conviction will stand in other states as well.

Conditions must be met in order for another state to honor the license suspension in your state. In very basic terms, those conditions may be that both states have similar DUI laws, your DUI conviction may have to be similar to one you’d receive in your new state, and law enforcement must have dealt similarly with your DUI in both states as well.

Unfortunately not all states are part of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, so there are opportunities for DUI offenders to slip through the cracks. Thankfully it’s not an easy loophole to jump through, because most license regulations require that you establish residency and have an address before you obtain a new license.

The Interstate Driver’s License Compact is another way the US can work together to fight drunk driving. To see if your state participates, visit the National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC).

Life After A DUI In Pennsylvania

Life-After-DUI-PennsylvaniaPennsylvania has what’s known as DUI grading, otherwise known as a sliding scale for anyone convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). That grading scale means that when you’re stopped for suspicion of DUI in Pennsylvania, you’re going to hope your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) isn’t high enough to take you from the slight penalties to severe.

Here’s a look at life after a DUI in Pennsylvania

Imagine you’re out for the night and you have a few drinks with friends. You feel sober enough to drive, so you get behind the wheel and head for home, only to see flashing lights in your rear view mirror.

This is the point where your BAC is really going to make a difference, because to confirm his or her suspicions, a police officer will ask you to submit to a breathalyzer. Because Pennsylvania has an implied consent law, if you refuse you’ll receive a one-year drivers license suspension.

You blow into the breathalyzer and your BAC reading comes up. If it’s between .08 to .099% and you haven’t crashed and injured or killed anyone, had a minor in your vehicle along for the ride, or have a previous DUI offense on record, you’ll be subject to the first tier of DUI penalties. Your charge will be an ungraded misdemeanor and you’ll receive a mandatory six months of probation, $300 in fines, and no drivers license suspension of any kind.

If your BAC registers from .10 to .15.9% or you’ve injured or killed someone with a BAC under .10, you’ll receive an ungraded misdemeanor, jail time of 48 hours to 6 months, fines up to $5,000, and a drivers license suspension of 12 months.

For those who have made the mistake of drinking and driving with a BAC that’s double the legal limit of .08, registering .16 and over on a breathalyzer, you’re in a for a rough road. A first offender with a BAC of .16 and over will receive jail time from 72 hours up to 6 months, fines up to $5,000, and a drivers license suspension of 12 months.

This is just what you can expect your penalties to be if you’re a first offender in Pennsylvania. If this is your second DUI, you can add a few penalties to your list including a mandatory ignition interlock installation in any vehicle you drive.

Stay safe in Pennsylvania and don’t drink and drive. That way you’ll never know what life’s like after a Pennsylvania DUI.

Virginia’s Traffic Laws Expand Ignition Interlock Use

virginia-ignition-interlock-lawOn July 1st, 2015, the state of Virginia took a step forward and made some changes to their traffic laws that could affect a lot of motorists on the roads.

To start, vehicles that assist on roadside or traffic accidents must now be equipped with lights and are subject to Virginia’s Move Over law, meaning if you see these vehicles you must pull aside and let them pass. Motorists can also receive a ticket for following too closely to cyclists, mopeds, and other non-motorized vehicles.

But the most important new traffic law in Virginia has nothing to do with changing lanes or emergency vehicles: it changes Virginia’s offering of ignition interlock devices. As of right now, if a resident of Virginia is convicted of an offense similar to Virginia’s DUI laws in a federal court, he or she can petition for restricted driving privileges. Before this change, only people with a DUI charge on record could petition for the restricted license.

That restricted license and ignition interlock program is a lifeline for many offenders charged with DUI, and now other offenders can take advantage of this penalty. An ignition interlock will let them get back on the road and ready to resume their lives much more quickly. They can continue to go to work, school, and drive their families where they need to go.

Because even a first DUI offense in Virginia is punishable by up to $2,500 in fines, up to one year in jail, a one year drivers license suspension, and at least six months on the ignition interlock program, the ignition interlock is the light at the end of a long road of restitution for their crime.

With ignition interlocks now being offered beyond the pool of DUI offenders in Virginia, more progress can be made in the keeping the roads in the state safer for everyone on them.

West Virginia Offers DUI Offenders a Fast Track to an Ignition Interlock

The landscape for DUI offenders in West Virginia is about to change for the better. A new law allows people charged with DUI to join the state’s ignition interlock program immediately, provided they waive their hearing.

An ignition interlock is a device which tests a driver’s breath and prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above a certain level.

bigstock-traffic-stop-22175018-900x273In most states, a person charged with DUI can request a hearing to challenge the case immediately. If the hearing is unsuccessful, punishment may include having to drive with an interlock, after a set period of suspension elapses.

The West Virginia law lets offenders who accept the charge skip right to the interlock, instead of losing their license for a period of time.

It might seem counter-intuitive to some: why let DUI offenders drive? But in fact, ignition interlock programs are known to reduce alcohol-related road accidents and fatalities. The reason is that too many
offenders, particularly problem drinkers who pose the worst danger, continue to drink and drive without their licenses.

Ignition interlocks are the proven, practical answer. They prevent an offender from driving if they have been drinking. They also collect data on failed tests, so the authorities can track the progress of the driver’s efforts to adhere to a sobriety program.

The West Virginia DMV says that the effect will be twofold: it will protect other motorists and pedestrians,by keeping impaired drivers off the roads, and also speed up the  offender’s rehabilitation.

Congratulations to West Virginia for making their roads safer.

License Suspension for DUI?
It Just. Doesn’t. Work.

A Colorado study confirms the bad news: license suspension does not work as a punishment for DUI. The number of motorists cited for drunken driving who are driving without a valid license is an astonishing one in four.

license suspension doesn't work for duiRocky Mountain PBS I-News and 9News analyzed electronic court records of more than 45,000 DUIs issued in Colorado from April 2012 through April 2014. Almost 11,000 of that group should not have been driving, due to a license that was suspended, restricted or revoked. That’s an average of 15 a day.

It’s common to hear well-intentioned people demand that drunk drivers lose their license altogether. The problem is, a license is just a piece of paper. People who drink and drive often ignore suspended or revoked licenses. After a week or a month of suspension, they decide that the inconvenience of not driving outweighs the consequences of being caught without a license – even that of being caught driving impaired without a license.

Moreover, these people are dangerous. Driving impaired, and often uninsured, they pose a risk to everyone on the road.

There is hope of change. At the beginning of 2014 Colorado passed a law that allows first-time DUI offenders to regain their license with the use of an ignition interlock, a device which presents a common-sense solution to the ignition interlocks save livesproblem. An ignition interlock prevents a car from starting if the driver’s breath alcohol concentration (BAC) is above a preset level. Usually a camera records the breath test, so that the offender cannot cheat. Repeat tests are given during a typical journey so that the driver can’t drink after starting the car.

The use of ignition interlocks appears counterintuitive to those who feel that license suspension is a more appropriate punishment for drunken driving. And perhaps it would be – if a lack of license really kept impaired drivers off the roads. But the Colorado study shows that it doesn’t. As long as people ignore DUI laws and license suspensions, ignition interlocks are the way to go.

Call Now Button800-499-0994