New law: Smart law

The light at the end of this tunnel may be finally visible, with the West Virginia legislators bringing in the much needed change in the law in the 2014 legislative session. The mandatory license revocation period is now made unnecessary. With this eliminated, a change in driver behavior and reduction in DUI related accidents is on the way.

The ignition interlock system that is used to monitor DUI offenders can now be installed immediately. Some feel this could mean drunken drivers get off with very less punishment for the DUI related offense, officials with West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles feel this brings in a guaranteed lifestyle change in both DUI offenders and sober drivers.

A 50% reduction in the number of court dates for those fighting their license revocation has been seen since passing this law, according to the West Virginia DMV. This also means that police officers can now spend more time on the roads rather than in courts. DUI offender Jeremy Kermerer, believes the interlock system resulted in behavior change that did not happen with therapy and gave his life and faith back.

Is revocation of driver’s license the answer?

Is revoking the license for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or driving while intoxicated the effective way to prevent DUI related offences?

Research does not seem to support this according to Eger, a retired police officer and currently, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. He believes suspending the license does not result in behavior changes.

Reasons to revoke license

Besides, people lose their licenses for reasons other than drunk driving. Eger also found that 40 percent of people across the nation lose their license for reasons other than bad driving, including failure to pay for child support, or for being caught with drugs, or for not paying for any fines they may have received for violations unrelated to driving.

The concerns that police and state and local motor vehicle officials spend too much time on going after people with suspensions for minor offences that are unrelated to safe driving was brought out in a study from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators in 2013.

Desiree Seats, 23, had her license suspended even before she got it, thanks to a shoplifting offense when she was 16. She was fined on a juvenile charge, but she did not know about the fine and did not pay it.

Check bouncing, non-repayment of college loans, and littering are other reasons for revoking the driving license of an American.

License suspension not the solution

According to Clarksburg WV DUI attorneys, this leads to the possibility that people, who lose their license for reasons other than DUI, take the suspension less seriously. As per the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 75% of people whose licenses are revoked, just keep driving anyway.

Jim Gramling, helped start an organization that provides legal help for low income group fighting license suspension. Now a volunteer DUI attorney at the Centre for Driver’s License Recovery and Employability, the organization he helped start, Jim believes you don’t need a license to drive, only a car and gas money.