CHARLESTON, W.Va. --- The West Virginia Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 26, approved revisions to a drunken driving law.
The bill would provide counties and cities with relief from regional jail costs by eliminating the mandatory 24-hour term that now results in "double bookings" that cost $48.50 per diem, the Register-Herald reported. Another component of the bill would let first-time offenders choose to install interlock devises to check whether they have ingested any alcohol — regardless of blood/breath alcohol concentration. If any is present, the ignition won’t start.
By opting to use interlocks, first-time offenders can cut in half the 30-day license suspension.
For anyone blowing a BAC of at least .15, the crime would be designated as "aggravated DUI" and interlocks would be mandatory. A jail term running from two days to six months would also be mandatory.
In 2006, the last year that statistics are available, drunken motorists killed 129 people in West Virginia and were blamed in 2,600 non-fatal injuries, the Register-Herald reported.