Drunk driving is a punishable offense in all states, though the penalties vary. DUI laws are tough for a determent, but many drivers still drive intoxicated. DUI laws are subject to change often, so drivers in Barboursville, West Virginia should know them.
DUI laws in West Virginia overview
West Virginia considers drivers intoxicated with a blood alcohol content level of .08. while in physical control of the vehicle. Drivers can get charged if they are impaired by controlled substances or inhalants or in combination with alcohol. Actual physical control means the driver had the intent to operate a vehicle, even if the vehicle was not in motion.
A driver can get arrested for DUI with a BAC of .05 because they can show signs of impairment at this level. A commercial driver can not register .04 or more and Zero Tolerance DUI laws make anything .02 and higher illegal for drivers 21 and younger.
A first offense commonly includes penalties of a $100-$500 fine, up to six months in jail, and a 90-day license suspension. Some first offenders may get a reduced license suspension by agreeing to Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock program. A first offender may qualify for dismissal with a BAC under .15 if they don’t have a CDL and enter a guilty plea.
A driver must agree to chemical testing under implied consent laws or face a one-year license suspension for refusal. This penalty may also get reduced to 45 days by agreeing to participate in the Motor Vehicle Alcohol Test and Lock program. Drivers can commonly refuse to take the portable breathalyzer test and field sobriety tests before an arrest without penalty.
Courts usually do not accept ignorance of the law as an excuse, but mistakes can occur. If the driver is guilty, they may plea down to a wet reckless.