In West Virginia, individuals may be charged with a DUI if a chemical test indicates that their blood-alcohol concentration meets or exceeds .08 percent following a police stop. The state does not require proof that someone’s driving was impaired as a result of alcohol, but it must be established that the person’s BAC exceeds the legal limit. As West Virginia is a zero-tolerance state, any individual younger than 21 with any measurable amount of alcohol in his or her system may also face DUI penalties.
1st DUI Conviction Penalties
The West Virginia DUI penalties someone may face for a first conviction depend on whether his or her BAC was at or above .15 percent. Those with a BAC between .08 and .14 percent may face up to six months in jail and fines of between $100 and $500 in addition to court costs. An individual’s license will be suspended for six months, but after 15 days, the person may be eligible to participate in the state’s Test & Lock Program and have an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle, and it must remain for 125 days.
If someone’s BAC met or exceeded .15 percent, the person may face a minimum of two days in jail and a maximum of six months. Along with court costs, these individuals may have to pay between $100 and $1,000 in fines. License suspension also lasts for six months, and driving privileges may be restored via the Test & Lock Program, but there is a 45-day waiting period, and the IID must remain in the vehicle for a year.
2nd DUI Conviction Penalties
A second conviction may result in jail time of no less than six months and no longer than a year, and convicted individuals will also have to pay fines of between $1,000 and $3,000 as well as court costs. Their license may be suspended for up to 10 years as a result of a second DUI conviction, but they may be eligible to take part in the Test & Lock Program after the first year of suspension. An interlock device must be used for two years following a second DUI conviction.
3rd DUI Conviction Penalties
For those who have been convicted of two other DUIs within a 10-year period, a third conviction is considered a felony. The West Virginia DUI penalties that accompany this conviction include a jail sentence ranging from one and three years in addition to responsibility for court costs and fines of up to $5,000 but no lower than $3,000. It is possible that their licenses could be suspended for the rest of their lives if they are convicted for a third time, but the minimum suspension is one year, and the option of taking advantage of the Test & Lock Program may still be presented to these individuals. They will be required to keep an interlock device in their automobile for three years in order to continue driving.
Before someone’s license will be reinstated in West Virginia following a DUI conviction, he or she must complete a safety and treatment program as well as provide a West Virginia SR-22 insurance form. Individuals will also be required to pay a license reinstatement fee to the DMV.