Drugged driving is bad enough, but what happens when an underage driver is under the influence?
DUID Laws in West Virginia
West Virginia has some of the strictest driving laws in the United States. Driving under the influence could cost you thousands in fines and even your freedom, especially if you aren’t a first offender.
Generally, first DUIs have a maximum fine of $1,000 and no more than six months in jail. Most first offenders also lose their driver’s license temporarily or have to have an interlock device installed. However, repeat offenders face fines of $5,000 and a year or more in jail along with the permanent revocation of their license.
Whether a DUI is aggravated or not can also change the punishment for impaired drunk. A BAC of 0.15% or higher makes a DUI “aggravated” and can elevate the crime to a felony in some cases, especially if a high BAC causes the driver to hurt others in an accident.
These same rules apply to drugged driving, but if a driver is in possession of an illegal substance, like cocaine or methamphetamine, they could face felony drug charges, which is a different crime with the potential for years in prison.
Overall, drunk or drugged driving is not taken lightly. Law enforcement and the court treat these cases seriously and do everything they can to get drunk or drugged drivers off the road.
Underage DUI Laws
The legal drinking age in WV is 21, and the state sees drinking as a privilege that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If an underage person is caught driving while under the influence, they face fines and jail time comparably lighter than a typical DUI, but they could lose their license until they are 18 years old.
It’s also important to note that the consequences of a DUI may have more long-lasting consequences for underage offenders. Arrests and convictions go on your permanent record, which employers can see when they do background checks.
For adults, this could jeopardize their job or lead to the revocation of their medical license. For underage offenders, this could mean that they don’t get those job opportunities in the first place.
Penalties for Underage DUIDs
Based on the laws regarding DUIDs and underage DUIs, the penalties for an underage drugged driving charge are as follows:
- License revocation for 1 – 10 years depending on aggravating factors
- Permanent license revocation
- Fines up to $1,000
- Up to six months in jail
These penalties are important to remember, but there are other penalties that could last a lifetime. For example, drug charges of any kind (including DUIDs) can prevent an applicant from getting into college or getting financial aid and scholarships.
A criminal record also follows an individual throughout their life unless the crime is expunged or sealed. Most employers use background checks that look for recent illegal activity and, more often than not, deny applications from people with a record. Many specialized schools and professions in the medical field refuse to give a license to those with a DUI or DUID on their record.
Driving under the influence can destroy opportunities and rob you of your freedom, but they don’t have to.
Harley Wagner Can Protect Your Future
If you are accused of an underage DUID in WV, you need a legal advocate you can trust. Attorney Harley Wagner has over 20 years of experience handling DUI and DUID cases and has helped countless clients get their lives back. Don’t let an underage DUID destroy your life – entrust your case to Harley Wagner.
Contact our firm for more information.