Recently we had a driver on our DUI forum ask what penalties and fines they might face if they are arrested for a West Virginia DUI.
What is drunk driving in West Virginia?
In West Virginia it is illegal to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more (WV Code section 20-7-18b). Commercial drivers can be arrested and charged with DUI if their BAC is 0.4% or more, and a minor can be arrested if their BAC is 0.02% or higher.
If you are arrested for drunk driving in West Virginia you can expect to have your license suspended for up to 6 months, potential participation in a alcohol education course or treatment program, install an interlock ignition device, pay fines from $100 to $500 and spend time in jail time. The state may allow you to obtain a hardship license after 30 days.
Penalties can be more severe, even for the first West Virginia DUI, if you have endangered a child, caused injury to another person or driver or if your drunk driving has caused the death of another person.
Should I hire a lawyer for a West Virginia DUI?
It is not unusual for drivers to ask if it’s not better just to plead guilty to a West Virginia DUI charge rather than fight it. Obviously whether you should plead guilty or not will depend on the evidence the prosecution has against you. Most DUI lawyers will offer a free consultation and you can evaluate the DUI evidence and decide if you have a strong case.
Can I expunge my West Virginia DUI conviction?
Since 2010, appeals for a license revocation are made to the Department of Transportation. First time DUI offenders who agree to participate in the new ignition interlock program may be allowed to expunge their DUI criminal records.
The West Virginia Ignition Interlock device program is called the Alcohol Test and Lock Program (ATLP). In addition to participating in the ATLP, offenders must enroll within 60 days of receiving their ignition interlock device and must successfully complete the state’s safety and treatment program before exiting the ATLP. Offenders convicted of drug-related DUIs are not eligible for the ATLP.
Why was my license taken if I was not convicted of a West Virginia DUI?
West Virginia has implied consent laws which state that a driver with a valid license has given their implied consent to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine if an officer of the law suspects that the driver is under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both.
What happens if you are arrested for a West Virginia DUI but refuses to submit to the test? You can have your license revoked up to one year for your first DUI offense, even if you are not convicted of the drunk driving charge. Consider also, if this is your second or third refusal you can face more severe DUI driving penalties then you would have faced if you had been convicted of DUI.
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