Drunk Driving Laws in West Virginia
Drunk driving laws in West Virginia address not only impairment, but also requirements for submitting to a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. If you were injured in a DUI accident, contact an attorney for personal injury in Clarksburg, WV.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2011 there were 90 fatal traffic accidents involving a BAC of .08 or higher. The penalties for a DUI can range from losing a driver’s license to having an ignition interlock device installed.
Drunk Driving Laws in West Virginia: Submitting to a BAC Test
In West Virginia drivers are required to submit to a BAC test. Refusing to take a test could result in the loss of their driver's license. The length of time depends on whether it is a first, second or third offense.
In addition, an ignition interlock device could be required. In order to start the vehicle, it requires a breath test. If a BAC of .025 or higher is detected, the vehicle will not start.
Drunk Driving Laws in West Virginia for a DUI
The following outlines the types of penalties that could be enforced depending on the BAC and outcome of an accident:
- BAC .08 to 0.15 – up to six months in jail, fines ranging from $100 to $500, suspended license up to six months (may be reduced if enrolled in DUI class or ignition interlock is installed);
- BAC 0.15 or greater – aggravated DUI, up to six months in jail, fines ranging from $200 to $1,000, license suspended , mandatory ignition interlock program;
- DUI of a minor – fines from $25 to $100, license suspension, ignition interlock;
- DUI causing injury – up to a year in jail, fines between $200 and $1,000, two-year license suspension;
- DUI causing death – 2 to 10 years' imprisonment, fines between $1,000 and $3,000, license suspension up to 10 years (may be reduced with ignition interlock); and
- DUI with minor in vehicle – up to a year in jail, fines ranging from $200 to $1,000, suspension of license for a year (reduction possible with ignition interlock).
Penalties for second, third and subsequent offenses can result in felony charges. This could mean significant fines and time spent in jail.
If convicted of a DUI, drunk driving laws in West Virginia require participation in the Alcohol Test and Lock Program (ATLP). Not only does this entail the installation of an ignition interlock system, but it also includes completion of a safety and treatment program.
A hardship license may be applied for if the ignition interlock device is installed and is necessary for employment. This generally means that the only time the vehicle can be driven is when the offender needs to get to work.
Victims of an accident involving DUI may wonder what legal options are available. It may help to talk with an attorney for personal injury in Clarksburg, WV. An attorney can determine the types of damages you may be entitled to recover. By seeking legal counsel, you can learn the impact drunk driving laws in West Virginia may have on your case.