DUI Laws in West Virginia

Laws and penalties for DUI in West Virginia.

In West Virginia, you can get a DUI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in West Virginia says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in West Virginia and other details about West Virginia DUI law.

(Check out our BAC chart for an estimate of how many drinks it takes to get to the legal limit.)

In West Virginia, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DUI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in West Virginia, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

1 year license revocation (or 45 days, with an additional 1 year of ignition interlock device)

5 or 10 year license revocation

5 or 10 year license revocation

In West Virginia, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In West Virginia, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DUI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .02%. In lieu of a suspension, it is possible to install an ignition interlock device.

What are the minimum jail times for a DUI in West Virginia?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DUI in West Virginia, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

No minimum jail term required

6 months jail

1 year jail

How long will prior DUI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, prior DUI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for 10 years.

Can a DUI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in West Virginia?

In West Virginia, it's possible for a person who's accused of driving under the influence to "plea bargain" for a lesser charge. When such a plea bargain is for a reckless driving charge, it's sometimes called a "wet reckless."

(Read more about plea bargaining in West Virginia DUI cases and the penalties for a West Virginia reckless driving violation.)

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DUI offenders in West Virginia?

They aren't required, but a defendant may choose to use the device to decrease the length of license suspension (for all offenses).

Where can I get more information about DUI laws in West Virginia?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DUI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of West Virginia DUI attorneys in your area.

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