West Virginia DUI 101

In West Virginia, any driver found driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) is subject to a fine, imprisonment and license revocation. Any driver found operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol – if only sitting at the wheel with the keys in the ignition – is also subject to a fine, imprisonment and license revocation. West Virginia commonly uses the term DUI when referencing a drunken driving offense.

Penalties for a West Virginia DUI: What Is an Offender Likely to Face? How Does This Change After Repeated Offenses?

First West Virginia DUI Offense

  • Jail up to six months
  • Fine from $100 to $500
  • License suspension for 15 days

Offenders with a BAC of .15 percent or greater are subject to imprisonment from two days to six months, a fine of $100 to $1,000 and license suspension for 45 days.

Offenders driving while under the influence of alcohol with a minor under age 16 face imprisonment from two days to 12 months and a fine from $200 to $1,000.

Second West Virginia DUI Offense

  • Jail from six months to 12 months
  • Fine from $1,000 to $3,000
  • One year license suspension
    • Mandatory ignition interlock device

Third West Virginia DUI Offense

Felony Offense

  • Jail from one year to three years
  • Fine from $3,000 to $5,000
  • One year license suspension
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device

What is West Virginia’s Zero Tolerance Law?

In West Virginia, drivers younger than 21 found to be under the influence of any amount of alcohol face mandatory license revocation; in most cases, up to age 21.

West Virginia Implied Consent Law and Chemical Test

West Virginia’s Implied Consent Law states that you must take a chemical breath test (which measures your blood alcohol content level) if you’re a licensed driver in West Virginia. Refusal to take the test could result in license suspension or revocation for a period of one year to life and jail time. Second and third offenses carry the harshest sentences, both requiring mandatory jail time.

Can Drivers Get a Restricted License in West Virginia? What About Other Transportation Alternatives?

Regardless of your circumstance or whether you’re a first-time offender, West Virginia does not offer a formal hardship or restricted license, which would allow you to travel to and from work or college with penalty under the law. No other transportation alternatives are offered at the time of publishing.

DUI Programs: What Happens at a Court-Mandated DUI Program? How Long Are They? Cost?

West Virginia mandates a mandatory 8-hour DUI program for offenders convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol, or operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Offenders can expect to learn about alcoholism and the devastating effects of driving while under the influence. Offenders can also participate in individual and group therapy sessions to evaluate the extent of their drinking problem.

Costs vary, but the short length of the class means smaller fees across schools.

Depending on the circumstances, other West Virginia DUI penalties may be ordered by the judge. As in any state, the best way to avoid these penalties is to never drink and drive. Designate a driver prior to drinking or be prepared to find other forms of transportation home to keep from getting a West Virginia DUI.