West Virginia DUI Laws

Per West Virginia DUI laws, commercial drivers can be charged with drunk driving if their blood-alcohol level is .04 percent or higher. Other drivers face charges if their BAC is .08 percent or higher. Whether you drive for business or pleasure in West Virginia, a DUI charge will raise your insurance rates. Enter your ZIP code below to find cheap DUI car insurance quotes from local West Virginia car insurance companies.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 25, 2020

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Every West Virginia driver should take the time to read the West Virginia DUI laws. Read the information below and then enter your ZIP code to begin comparing cheap car insurance quotes!

To begin with the basic problem, the legal limit in West Virginia is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08. How long it takes you to get there depends on how much you weigh, how much you have eaten, and how fast you were drinking.

But remember: in West Virginia, commercial drivers have a BAC limit of only .04, and if you’re under the age of twenty one, it’s .02, which translates to Zero Tolerance.

Read our Car Insurance Guide and find great tips to save money on car insurance! Then you can use our FREE ZIP code search and start saving!

West Virginia DUI Laws

For a first offense:

  • Blood alcohol .15 or above: jail for 2 days to 6 months
  • Minor under sixteen in vehicle: jail 2 days to a year.
  • Fines: $100 to $500
  • Blood alcohol level .15 or above: fine up to $1,000
  • Minor under sixteen in vehicle: fine from $200 to $1,000
  • Your license can be suspended for fifteen days
  • Blood alcohol level .15 or above, license suspended for forty five days
  • Possible ignition interlock

In West Virginia, fines and punishments go up when your BAC is above .15 and/or you have a minor under the age of sixteen in the vehicle with you. Read our DUI/DWI Guide to find tips on saving on DUI insurance.

For second time West Virginia DUI convictions the punishment scale is as follows:

  • You can go to jail for six months to a year
  • You will face a fine that ranges from $1000 to $3,000
  • Your license may be suspended for one year
  • And an ignition interlock is required

A third time drunk driving conviction is a felony punished as follows:

  • You can go to prison for a sentence of one to three years
  • You will face a fine that ranges from $3,000 to $5,000
  • Your license will be suspended for one year
  • And the ignition interlock is required

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Appealing License Revocation

Beginning in 2010, people hoping to appeal a license revocation did not have to go through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Now, an autonomous agency within the Department of Transportation will oversee such hearings. New legislation gives first-time DUI offenders permission to expunge the misdemeanor from their criminal records when they voluntarily enroll in the ignition interlock program. As in most states, the convicted drunk driver has to pay for the ignition interlock device. Every driver should be aware of their state DUI laws to insure they are under the legal limit.

Calculating BAC

To calculate the number of drinks for any individual to reach the .08 BAC limit, factor in your weight, sex, body-fat percentage and the time between drinks. If you are a commercial driver, don’t even think about drinking and going to work: .04 is one drink, only. This means one shot of whiskey, one bottle of beer, one glass of wine. And if you are under the age of twenty one, if you have imbibed any alcohol, do not even consider the possibility of your getting behind the wheel of a car. The .02 limit is, de facto, zero tolerance.

Research demonstrates that blood alcohol content can go up by .05 per drink! It has also been demonstrated that one drink slows your reaction time. Even the slightest alcohol buzz is enough to make you dangerous behind the wheel. The people of West Virginia have decided that they don’t want to pry any more dead teenagers from behind the wheel, or any more dead children from inside the vehicle of a drunken parent. In the eyes of the law, drinking is not fun.

In West Virginia, the best solution to the drinking/driving problem is to do one, or the other, but never do both at the same time. West Virginia drunk driving statutes are strict; when you combine alcohol and cars in West Virginia, you put your finances, your future and your freedom at risk. Compare West Virginia car insurance after receiving a DUI to save the most money possible!

The Implied Consent Law in West Virginia

West Virginia also has an implied consent law. This law commands that all drivers in the State of West Virginia consent to a chemical blood, breath or urine test if a police officer asks for it. If the officer suspects that the driver may be inebriated, the driver must submit to the test. Refusal to submit leads to the state revoking your drivers license for up to one year on your first offense.

Later refusals demand more draconian penalties that may be equal to or greater than an actual DUI conviction. The intent of this law is to remind drivers in West Virginia that the State takes drunken driving seriously indeed, and will not tolerate mixing cars, drivers and alcohol. If you drink in West Virginia, don’t drive. Enter your ZIP code today and find cheap car insurance with our ZIP code search!

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