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DUI Laws in West Virginia


Driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a serious offence in the state of West Virginia. Statistics have shown that 40% of occurring fatal road accidents within the state each year is as a direct result of DUI. This is because alcohol consumption has the side effect of impairing your judgment and promoting emotional, mental and physical instability.

West Virginia DUI Laws

The state of West Virginia has enacted various laws that are aimed at stemming the scourge of drunk driving. These include:

  • Implied Consent Law: This law involves an indirect contract that must be agreed to by West Virginia drivers before they can be issued a driver’s license. In general, the law states that once you have been issued with a West Virginia driver’s license, you have agreed subject yourself to a field sobriety test if you are pulled over under the suspicion of a West Virginia DUI. Failure to comply with the request of the police officer will result in an immediate suspension of your driver’s license.
  • Zero Tolerance Law: This law targets young drivers who are classified as minors. Minors are those drivers under the age of 21. The zero tolerance law drives at the heart of the irresponsible behavior of many young kids. If a minor is caught committing a DUI in West Virginia, their driver’s license is immediately suspended for at least 60 days or until you are 21 depending on the severity of the case.
  • Legal BAC Limit: West Virginia drivers are considered to be legally drunk if they are caught driving with a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.08%. This value is reduced to 0.02% if the driver is under the age of 21. Once you have exceeded the legal limits, it is within the right of the police to arrest you and begin proceedings for you to attend a West Virginia DUI hearing. It is advised that once you have been arrested for a West Virginia DUI, your first line of action is to consult a West Virginia DUI lawyer who will be capable of assisting you in resolving your case.

West Virginia DUI Penalties

The West Virginia Department of Traffic has come up with a state of laws aimed at tacking the problem of drunk driving.

  • Zero Tolerance: drivers under the age of 21face license suspension of 60 days plus a fine between $25 and $100. Repeat minor DUI offenders face a mandatory 24 hours in jail plus fines ranging from $100 to $500. Their driver’s license will also be revoked until they are 21 and a mandatory ignition interlock installed for a specific period.
  • DUI under Implied Consent Law: Refusal of a field sobriety test results in jail time ranging from 24 hours to six months. In addition, drivers will have their driver’s license suspended for one year.
  • DUI First Time Offence: A first time West Virginia DUI results in at least 24 hours in jail, fines ranging from $100 to $500 and license revocation not exceeding six months.
  • DUI second Time Offence: Second time offenders face jail time ranging from six month to a year. In addition, they will be slapped with fines not exceeding $3000 and license revocation not exceeding 10 years.
  • DUI Third Time Offenders: third timers face jail time up to three years and must pay fines ranging from $3000 to $5000. They also face the possibility of losing their driver’s license for life.
DALA Staff Writer
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