It is hard to believe that it has been almost 17 years since former President Clinton announced the nationwide initiative to set a standard for impaired driving due to alcohol at .08 BAC. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in the year immediately following that announcement 15,786 traffic fatalities on American roadways were caused by alcohol. That figure represents 38 percent of all traffic fatalities that year.

West Virginia adopted the new measure and has a strict punitive schedule for those caught operating a motor vehicle while impaired. Understanding that both your finances and your freedom are at stake when you drive after drinking is meant as a deterrent to those who consider getting behind the wheel.

Strike 1

The first time an individual gets a DUI on the roads of West Virginia, it may have been a gross error in judgement. The law and the courts, however, are no less forgiving. Depending on the conditions surrounding your arrest, you can expect to the courts to levy the following judgements:

  • Up to six (6) months in jail
  • A fine ranging from $100 to $1000
  • Suspension of driver’s license from 15 to 45 days

Each of these punishments is meant to highlight the importance the state of West Virginia places on maintaining safe roadways free of impaired drivers.

Strike 2

A second offense for DUI in the state of West Virginia leads to stiffer fines and penalties. A repeat offender has shown that the first conviction was not enough of a deterrent to abstain from driving after drinking. A second conviction for DUI in West Virginia is subject to the following:

  • From six (6) to 12 months in jail
  • A fine ranging from $1000 to $3000 
  • 1 year suspension of driver’s license
  • Mandatory IID (Ignition Interlock Device) requirement

The IID requirement is mandatory with all convictions after the first DUI conviction. These devices measure the alcohol on the driver’s breath before allowing the vehicle to start.

Strike 3

If you are appearing before a court of law on your third DUI conviction within a 10 year period, the harsh punishments associated with a second conviction look like child’s play compared with what you can expect from the judge hearing your case. If convicted for a third DUI offense, the penalties and fines include:

  • From one (1) to three (3) years in jail
  • A fine ranging from $3000 to $5000
  • 1 year suspension of driver’s license
  • Mandatory IID (Ignition Interlock Device) requirement

Understanding the severity of the West Virginia DUI laws hopefully deters individuals from taking to the roads after having had a few drinks. In the unfortunate case that you are arrested for DUI in the state of West Virginia, the services of a competent West Virginia attorney are necessary to help you navigate the legal landscape.