When a motorist receives a traffic violation in the state of West Virginia, he or she may have to complete a driving improvement course. Generally, these are designed to help drivers regain their driving privileges.
Receiving Points on a Driver’s License for a Traffic Violation
Points can be given for any number of traffic violations. The number of points reflects the seriousness of the violation. At the very least, a driver can receive two points.
Reckless or aggressive driving behaviors such as tailgating, speeding between five and nine miles per hour (mph) above the speed limit and improperly turning are some examples. Three points can be given for any type of lane violation or failure to yield, along with other traffic violations.
Points above three are limited to certain types of violations:
- five points for speeding 15 mph or higher;
- six points for a hit and run, reckless driving and speeding in a school zone; and
- eight points (the most) for fleeing a police officer.
Once a driver reaches 12 points, his/her license will be suspended for 30 days. It will be suspended for 45 days if the person has 14 to 15 points, 60 days for 16 to 17 points and 90 days for 18 to 19 points. Once a driver reaches 20 points or more, the suspension remains until the points are reduced to 11 or less.
Taking a Defensive Driving Course to Remove Points
One way to have points removed is to take a defensive driving course. Once the driving improvement course has been completed, three points will be taken away. Drivers with 12 to 13 points, facing a 30-day suspension, who submit proof of taking the course and pay a reinstatement fee before the effective date of the suspension can have it rescinded.
Those who have acquired 14 points or more can take the course. However, the suspension will still remain in place. The course can only be taken once every two years.
DUI Safety and Treatment Programs in West Virginia
Individuals in violation of driving under the influence (DUI) laws must complete two requirements. The individual’s driver’s license cannot be reinstated until they are met. However, there could be other provisions that must also be met, as mandated by the courts.
The first requirement is that the individual must complete an 18-hour DUI education program. The second requirement is that the person must undergo a substance abuse evaluation. If there are any recommendations regarding treatment, those must be followed.
It is recommended that those who are considered a habitual offender (with more than one DUI) undergo assessment and admission to a substance treatment program that is designed for those with multiple offenses. For those convicted of a second or subsequent DUI, completing this type of program is a step in order to eventually have a driver’s license reinstated.
Ignition Interlock Device Program in West Virginia
Another program that is required when a driver has been convicted of DUI is participation in the Alcohol Test and Lock Program (ATLP). An ignition interlock device is installed in the individual’s vehicle. Within 60 days of receiving it, the individual must enroll in the aforementioned safety and treatment program. The device will only be removed once the program has been completed.
Ignition interlock devices require the driver to breathe into the device. If it detects a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .025 or higher, the vehicle won’t start. Once it’s in operation, there will be random retests that continue to check the driver’s BAC. If while driving it shows a violation or the person doesn’t breathe into the device, the horn will be triggered until the vehicle is stopped and the person submits a clean sample.
The state imposes penalties such as taking a driver improvement course to discourage traffic violations, which can increase risk of car accidents. Victims of accidents caused by negligence or recklessness may seek compensation for their damages. Call The Miley Legal Group at 304-931-4088 to set up a consultation.