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West Virginia DUI Laws

West Virginia DUI laws. Drunk driving in the state of West Virginia.

West Virginia DUI Laws


West Virginia, like most states, has what is referred to as an implied consent law. When you operate a motorized vehicle on West Virginia roads, you are agreeing to submit yourself to a breath, blood, or urine test to determine if you are driving under the influence (DUI). Refusal to be tested can result in penalties which are consistent with the drunk driving laws of the state and lose your license for one year upon the first refusal. Second and all following refusals will result in harsher penalties equal to or more severe than drunk driving penalties. You can be arrested even if you don’t show obvious signs of intoxication and convicted of a DUI in West Virginia without the chemical tests. The influence can be drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two which includes inhalants. West Virginia takes DUI offenses very seriously. These penalties will include the jail time, alcohol treatment programs, suspended license, assessments, fees, and fines between $100.00 to $5,000.00. There is a zero tolerance policy in place for underage drinkers with the drinking age set at 21.

It is considered a crime in West Virginia to operate a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Sentences are more severe for persons found to have a BAC of 0.15% or more or if a minor age 16 or less is in the vehicle with you at the time of the arrest. The “Per Se” BAC does not need any other proof of intoxication other than the 0.08% level for you to be convicted. The enhanced penalties applied to individuals with 0.15 to 0.20% will include more jail time, harsher fines, and driver’s license sanctions.

West Virginia law states that drivers under 21 may not be 0.02% or more. DUI’s will be issued to 18 year olds or younger individuals with a measurable BAC of .02%, persons over 21 with a BAC of 0.08% and commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04% or more.

Penalties for DUI Arrests


The first conviction will result in up to 6 months of jail time and $100.00 to $500.00 in fines. Your license will also be suspended for 15 days to 6 months. If your BAC is at .15% or above you will serve 2 days to 6 months in jail, pay between $100.00 to $1,000.00 in fines and have your license suspended for 45 days. If a minor age 16 or under is in the vehicle at the time of the arrest your jail sentence will be from 2 days to 12 months. Your fines will be set between $200.00 and $1,000.00 and you may lose your license for up to 45 days with the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) required on your vehicle.

The second conviction will result in up to 6 months to 12 months of jail time and $1,000.00 to $3,000.00 in fines. Your license will also be suspended for 1 year. You will be required to obtain the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) and have it installed on your vehicle at your own expense.

The third DUI conviction in West Virginia is a Felony Offense and will result in up to 1 year to 3 years of jail time and $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 in fines. Your license will also be suspended for 1 year. You will be required to obtain the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) and have it installed on your vehicle at your own expense. All of these penalties are accompanied by mandatory treatment in an alcohol treatment program. You may be able to obtain a limited license after you have served 30 days of your suspension by complying with all the restrictions and demands of the courts.