West Virginia DUI LAW
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West Virginia DUI / DWI law is similar to that of many other states, in that a West Virginia DUI / DWI arrest triggers two separate and unrelated cases. West Virginia DUI / DWI laws first provide for a criminal court case, where DUI punishment includes jail, fines, educational programs, the possibility of an ignition interlock being required, driver’s license suspension, and more.
West Virginia DUI / DWI law also give rise to a second case: a Division of Motor Vehicles case, where your West Virginia drunk driving privileges are at stake. This West Virginia DUI DMV action is separate and apart from the West Virginia DUI criminal court action. It requires you (or your DUI lawyer) to act quickly to save your license following an arrest for West Virginia DUI / DWI. You may contact a qualified West Virginia DUI / DWI defense lawyer by calling toll free: 1.800.DWI.LAWS.
URGENT: It is critical that you speak to a West Virginia DWI defense attorney IMMEDIATELY if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving in West Virginia. West Virginia DUI / DWI laws are among the toughest in the country. You have a limited amount of time to act to save your driver’s license following a DUI / DWI arrest in West Virginia. If a DUI / DWI Hearing Request is made of the West Virginia DMV on a timely basis, the accused will be allowed to continue driving pending the outcome of the hearing. If the DUI / DWI Hearing Request is not made on time, the driver’s license will be automatically suspended.
Drunk driving defense is a specialized area. Let one of the qualified DUI LAWS attorneys find a solution to your legal problem if you, or someone you care about, has been arrested for DUI or DWI. Contact a West Virginia DUI LAWS lawyer near you for a free consultation by calling 1.800.DWI.LAWS.
West Virginia DUI / DWI and drunk driving cases are prosecuted on one of two theories, either "common-law" or "per se". West Virginia DUI / DWI prosecution of the traditional "common-law" DUI / DWI is where the government attempts to show that the driver was impaired either physically or mentally as the result of consuming alcohol or drugs. This impairment is typically demonstrated by the arresting officer’s testimony concerning the driving pattern, field sobriety tests, the driver’s appearance, and performance on chemical tests. Although chemical testing may be relevant to the issue of impairment, it is not necessary to support a West Virginia DUI / DWI conviction. Impairment can be demonstrated circumstantially through other means, and is not dependent on DWI chemical test results.
West Virginia DUI / DWI cases predicated on the per se charges take the opposite view. These DUI / DWI prosecutions are based only on the chemical test results, and do not care about impairment at all. The only inquiry for a per se charge is whether or not the accused drunk driver was above the legal limit of .08% at the time of driving. (Note: as of May 5, 2004 the legal limit for West Virginia DUI / DWI cases was reduced from .10 to .08%.)
If arrested for DUI / DWI, the West Virginia implied consent law requires you to submit to testing of your blood or breath for alcohol content. If this testing is refused following a DUI / DWI arrest, there is a DMV administrative action that could result in suspension of your driving privileges from one year to as long as a lifetime ban from driving. West Virginia, unlike some states, does not criminalize the refusal to test following a West Virginia DUI / DWI arrest. There is no work permit available following a DMV action in West Virginia.
West Virginia drinking and driving law provides for a look-back period of 10 years. This means that if there is a prior DUI / DWI conviction more than 10 years before the current case, the current DUI / DWI will be prosecuted as a first offense. If there is a DUI / DWI conviction within 10 years of the current case, the current case will be prosecuted as a second-offense DUI / DWI (or more, depending upon the number of priors). These prior convictions significantly increase the punishment for conviction of a DUI / DWI.
Punishment in West Virginia Criminal Court
West Virginia DUI / DWI Conviction – First Offense
Minimum: 24 hours.
Maximum: 6 months.
Fine: $100 to $500, plus court costs/surcharges.
West Virginia DUI / DWI Conviction – Second Offense
Minimum: 6 months.
Maximum: 1 year.
Fine: $1,000 to $3,000, plus court costs/surcharges.
West Virginia DUI / DWI Conviction – Third Offense
Minimum: 1 year.
Maximum: 3 years.
Fine: $3,000 to $5,000, plus court costs/surcharges.
If you or anyone you care about has been arrested for a West Virginia DUI / DWI, please contact a qualified DUI defense attorney right away. At 1.800.DUI.LAWS, our lawyers are singular in focus, dedicated to you, and committed to achieving the best possible results in every DUI / DWI case.