Can You Get a DUI on Your Own Property?

Navigating the complexities of DUI laws can be challenging, especially when it comes to understanding the implications of driving under the influence on your own property. So, can you get a DUI on your own property? Many people believe that being on private property shields them from DUI charges, but this is a common misconception. In West Virginia, DUI laws are broadly enforced, and understanding these regulations is crucial to avoid severe legal consequences.

At The Wagner Law Firm, we provide clear and comprehensive legal guidance on DUI laws. In this blog post, we will explore whether you can be charged with a DUI on your own property in West Virginia. Whether you are facing charges or simply seeking to understand the law better, our goal is to offer the information you need to make informed decisions.

Can You Get a DUI on Your Own Property in West Virginia?

West Virginia Code §17C-5-2 defines DUI as operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, controlled substances, or drugs. The impairment must affect the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle safely. Importantly, the law’s reach extends beyond public highways to include private roads and property.

The broad application of West Virginia’s DUI laws means that even if you are driving on your own land, you can still be charged with a DUI. The rationale behind this extensive coverage is to promote safety and discourage impaired driving under any circumstances.

Legal Consequences of DUI on Private Property

The legal consequences of a DUI on private property in West Virginia are severe and apply equally whether the offense occurs on public or private property. For a first offense, individuals can face up to six months in jail, fines ranging from $100 to $500, and a six-month revocation of their driver’s license. Additionally, participation in the Motor Vehicle Test and Lock Program, which requires the installation of an ignition interlock device, is often mandated. For a second offense, the penalties increase significantly, with offenders facing longer jail terms, higher fines, and extended periods of license revocation. For third and subsequent offenses, the consequences become even more severe, including lengthy imprisonment, substantial fines, and potentially permanent revocation of driving privileges.


Harley and Heather gave me peace of mind as they walked me through the process of my DUI. Heather was so quick to answer even the smallest and probably irrelevant questions I had. I was extremely nervous to walk in the courtroom, but Harley made sure I was in and out of there in no time with the best deal I could think of. My DUI charge was reduced to a speeding ticket and some online DUI classes. Would absolutely recommend Harley and Heather if you’re ever in need of a lawyer.”

- Antea Jarazi


The Wagner Law Firm was amazing from beginning to end dealing with my case. This was my first time ever dealing with anything like this and they helped me tremendously and answered all my questions super fast. We got the best outcome possible for my case and I will be recommending Harley and Heather to anyone that’s ever in my situation."

- Savanna Cummings


Harley and Heather do not stop and are excellent at always keeping their clients up to date on the status of their case and never left wondering. They do all the work and are very well connected throughout the state. I will forever be grateful to both Harley and Heather for what they did for me,,,, they aren’t just another law firm, they are great people who truly care. Thank you."

- Clint Anderson

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be arrested for a DUI if I’m driving on my farm?

Yes, you can. West Virginia law does not exempt private property from DUI enforcement. Driving under the influence on your farm or any other private property can still lead to arrest and prosecution. The law aims to ensure safety and prevent impaired driving in all contexts.

What if I am not driving but sitting in my car on my property while impaired?

West Virginia’s DUI laws require that you are operating the vehicle. However, “operating” can be broadly interpreted to include being in control of the vehicle, even if it is not moving. Thus, it is advisable to avoid being in the driver’s seat while impaired to mitigate any legal risks.

What should I do if I am charged with DUI on my property?

Seeking legal counsel immediately is crucial. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complexities of your case, ensuring your rights are protected and providing a robust defense.

Harley Wagner

Defending West Virginia Residents for over 24 Years

Why You Need Legal Counsel

Dealing with DUI charges, especially those involving private property, is a complex legal challenge. Hiring an attorney is essential for several reasons. Attorneys focusing on DUI cases possess an in-depth understanding of the relevant laws and can offer tailored advice and valuable insights specific to your situation. They have the skills to negotiate with insurance companies and prosecutors, who often seek to minimize their liabilities, working on your behalf to reduce charges or penalties.

An experienced attorney can craft a defense strategy based on the details of your case. This might involve questioning the validity of the evidence, challenging the procedures used during your arrest, or emphasizing any mitigating factors. Additionally, an attorney ensures that your rights are protected from the moment of your arrest through to the final court proceedings. They ensure due process is followed and that you are treated fairly throughout the legal process.

Case Results

DUI Felony 3rd Offense

Not Guilty

DUI 1st

Not Guilty

Aggravated DUI 1st

Charge Reduced

.08 DUI Causing Death

Case Dismissed

DUI Felony Fleeing / Attempted Murder by Vehicle

All Charges Dismissed

.14 Felony DUI Causing Death Case

Reduced to Misdemeanor

Fighting for You

So, can you get a DUI on your own property? The short answer is: yes. 

Facing a DUI charge on your own property can be a daunting experience. The broad scope of West Virginia’s DUI laws means that even private property is not exempt from enforcement. Understanding these laws and the severe penalties involved is crucial. At The Wagner Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing legal advice and advocacy to help you navigate these challenging circumstances.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Our experienced West Virginia DUI attorneys are committed to protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case. Let us guide you through the complexities of DUI law and provide the support you need during this difficult time.