Every state, including Washington D.C, has DUI laws to increase road safety, but people still drink and drive. Efforts by law enforcement across the country have decreased the number of fatal drunk driving accidents. A driver in Barboursville, West Virginia, may face several penalties if they get convicted for DUI.
Overview of West Virginia DUI
Drivers can get a DUI if they are in actual physical control of the vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08. The BAC for a commercial driver is set at .04 for a commercial driver and at .02 for drivers under 21.
The state defines “physical control of the vehicle” as the intent to drive even without the vehicle moving. For example, if a driver is asleep in their vehicle, with keys in the ignition, this could be construed as an intent to drive. Drivers also can be charged with DUI for driving impaired on legal or illegal drugs, including inhalants, or in combination with alcohol.
West Virginia DUI Penalties
A first DUI charge commonly includes penalties of 48 hours to six months of jail, six-month license suspension, and up to a $500 fine. However, a first offender may be eligible for probation if they don’t have a commercial license and had a BAC under .15. A BAC over .15 is considered aggravated DUI and fines may increase to anywhere between $200 and $1,000.
A second offense includes penalties of up to one year in jail, a $1,000 to $3,000 fine, and a 10-year license suspension. If a driver causes injury from driving impaired, they face a mandatory 24 hours to one year in jail, and up to a $1,000 fine.
Officers need probable cause to arrest a driver for DUI, such as an accurate breath test. However, drivers may challenge the arrest if the officer lacked probable cause.