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West Virginia DUI Laws


West Virginia DUI Laws classify two instances of DUI arrest.

You can either be arrested for violating the common law of driving a vehicle while intoxicated resulting to impaired driving skills. This case will be based on the testimony of the arresting officer during the scene. The officer will determine if you are intoxicated through your driving patterns, physical appearance, field sobriety tests, and chemistry tests.

You can also be arrested if you violate the per se law of the state of West Virginia. This law states that a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more for all drivers, 0.02% or more for minors under 21, and 0.04% for commercial vehicle drivers can be grounds for a DUI arrest.

Once you are arrested, two separate cases will be filed against you. A criminal court case where your driving under influence punishments will be imposed and carried out. A Division of Motor Vehicle case will determine the suspension of your driving privileges. The DMV will also determine the license suspension time when you refused the request of the arresting officer to take the BAC test. Of course, this piece of evidence can also be used against you in the criminal court case.

A guilty verdict of the DUI offense will result in a deluge of penalties, fines, and license suspensions. Between the criminal court case and the DMV administrative hearing, you will get the following:

1. First DUI conviction – jail time of up 6 months, 2 days to 6 months for BAC of 0.15% or more, 2 days to 12 months when minor under 16 is inside the vehicle; fines from $100 to $500, $100 to $1,000 for BAC of 0.15% or more, $200 to $1,000 when minor under 16 is inside the vehicle; and license suspension of 15 days, 45 days for BAC of 0.15% or more;
2. Second DUI conviction – jail time of 6 to 12 months, fines from $1,000 to $3,000, and license suspension for 1 year with ignition interlock device required;
3. Third DUI conviction – jail time of 1 to 3 years, fines from $3,000 to $5,000, and license suspension for 1 year with ignition interlock device required. This offense is now considered as a felony offense.

For the refusal issue, your license is automatically suspended for 1 year. Lessening your license suspension is also possible as long as you install an ignition interlock device in all your vehicles. If you want to avail of this program, you can pay for the device and all the expenses that come with it.

Considering that West Virginia DUI Laws are strict and complicated, it is only imperative that you hire a well-qualified DUI defense lawyer to help you with the proceedings.