West Virginia remains one of the toughest states in the country for DUI penalties and fines. At all levels, West Virginia is amongst the highest in the country in terms of penalties in place for offenders. Its efforts have not gone unnoticed, as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has given West Virginia a 5-star rating.
West Virginia DUI by the Numbers (based on 2012 overall numbers)
Amazingly, even with the severe penalties and fines from DUI in West Virginia, it has one of the higher fatality rates in the United States (5.1:100,000) as well as a very high under-21 fatality rate (1.8:100,000). Even with these high numbers, though, the state has seen a significant downward trend in overall fatalities compared to 2002:
- 5,654 total DUI arrests (19 from under-18 drivers)
- 94 total alcohol-related fatalities (8 from under-21 drivers)
- 8 percent decrease in alcohol-related fatalities
- 2 percent decrease in alcohol-related fatalities for under-21 drivers
- 1 percent of fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15+
- 75 percent of repeat offenders had a BAC of .15+
DUI First Offense Penalties in West Virginia
The only area where first time offenders are given any sort of leniency is in a license suspension. The mandatory suspension in West Virginia is significantly lower than it is in most other states. Below are the fines and penalties as of this writing:
- Monetary fines ranging from $100 to $1,000
- Mandatory IID is possible
- Up to six months in jail
- Minimum of 15 days with a maximum of 45 days license suspension
West Virginia is an implied consent state with penalties and fines in place for anyone refusing to take mandated chemical tests. First time offenders refusing to take the tests will have their license revoked for one year or can choose to have their license suspended for 45 days with a mandatory ignition interlock device installed on the car for a period of one year.
West Virginia has a 10-year washout period for repeat offenders.
Should You Hire a DUI Attorney if Arrested and Charged in West Virginia?
Being arrested for DUI is not something anyone wants on his or her record. Take into account that a mandatory ignition interlock device is required for all repeat offenders, and the costs for a conviction begin to increase rather dramatically. An attorney may be able to plead the case out to a lesser charge, called wet reckless, or may find problems with the testing and/or procedures during the arrest and have the charged outright dismissed. Please let us help and have the details of your DUI arrest examined online for free.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.