By: Harley O. Wagner, The Wagner Law Firm, Statewide WV DUI attorney
West Virginia DUI laws are highly complex, and are a TRAP for the unwary. Only a DUI specialist should be advising you, if you have been arrested for DUI in WV. Issues such as a DUI refusal causes options for favorable treatment (such as eligibility for the West Virginia DUI deferral program) to be available.
DUI Penalties for a DUI First Offense in WV
Just reading this section about a person with a 1st DUI and possible DUI penalties in WV will convince you to hire a DUI specialist for your West Virginia DUI case, even when it is a first offense DUI. Under current West Virginia DUI laws, for a first-time conviction, you could face a wide array of DUI punishments. The following types of 1st offense DUI charges (and dispositions) exists under WV DUI laws:
A DUI first offense in WV with a breath alcohol test level of less than 0.15 grams percent (DUI Non-Aggravated): Requires a 15-day hard driver’s license revocation (no type of work permit or limited driving permit allowed) followed by 4 months of interlock restricted driving (must blow into a breath alcohol detector to start the engine, aka blow and go).
For those who opt to not install and pay for the ignition interlock device, the driver can elect to undergo a 90-day hard revocation and be excused from the provisions of the WV interlock law, allowing for early driving privileges being reinstated after the first 15 days of hard license revocation.
(*If disposing of your case via the WV Code 17C-5-2b “First Time Offender Deferral Program,” which upon completion of the interlock period/WV DMV reinstatement process, can get your charge dismissed and eventual record expunged. The period of interlock then required is 165 days following the 15-day revocation of your driver’s license.)
- A WV driver on a first-time DUI offense with a breath alcohol test greater than 0.15 grams percent (Aggravated DUI West Virginia): Carries a 45-day driver’s license hard revocation followed by 9 mandatory months of the ignition interlock installation for a first DUI offense.
- Refusal of an alcohol breath test for a 1st offense DUI under West Virginia Implied Consent law: Carries a 45-day hard revocation (no limited driving permit) followed by 12 months of ignition interlock installation. For those first time DUI offense clients who opt to not install and pay for the ignition interlock device, the driver can opt to accept a 12-month hard driver’s license revocation. No ignition interlock must be installed, as shown above.
- Underage DUI: A first DUI offense WV DUI driver under age 21 who submits to testing and has a breath alcohol content of 0.02, but less than a 0.08, requires the underage DUI driver to take a 30-day driver’s license hard suspension, followed by 6 months of driving with the ignition interlock on their vehicle. West Virginia DUI laws offer a youthful offender with an underage DUI and low BAC level to have his or her criminal charge dismissed after complying with these rules. The young person’s arrest record is also expunged once sentence completion is accomplished. This is one of the most favorable underage DUI laws in the country.
- Knowingly permitting (i.e., allowing your car to be driven by another drunk driver who gets charged with DUI): Carries a six month hard suspension, even for a 1st DUI offense, which can be reduced to 90 days provided you promptly enroll in a DUI Safety and Treatment course, and pay your WV DMV reinstatement within the first 90 days of your suspension period. (*There is no interlock provision on a permitting revocation in WV for you to lawfully drive sooner, even if this is a first offense.) Not all states have a similar law, but West Virginia DUI laws are highly punitive for allowing another person to operate your vehicle if that person is intoxicated.
- A first offense DUI Drugs: A hard suspension for six (6) months that can be reinstated after 90 days provided that the alcohol safety treatment program has been completed by the driver prior to the 90-day deadline. Your WV DUI attorney can direct you on how to accomplish this.
- A first DUI with child in car: Requires a 60-day hard suspension of all driving privileges followed by 10 months of ignition interlock installation. Any person under age 16 in the vehicle qualifies the case as DUI child endangerment.
- A West Virginia 1st DUI with an injury: Carries a 60-day driver’s license hard suspension followed by a requirement of the driver to install and pay for 12 months of ignition interlock installation.
Hire the Best DUI Lawyer for Your WV DUI Case
West Virginia lawyers are not all alike. All attorneys in WV must pass the Bar, but their training and experience AFTER passing the WV State Bar exam make the biggest difference in capabilities.
You need a specialist in DUI laws in WV to help you save your driver’s license and get the most favorable result in a WV DUI case, even a first-time offense. That fully-trained DUI specialist is WV DUI attorney Harley O. Wagner.
As the author of a drunk driving books focused on winning DUI cases in WV, he is a highest-rated attorney by Super Lawyers and his AVVO attorney ratings are among the best among criminal attorneys in Martinsburg WV. The criminal law firm practice of Wagner Law Office is STATEWIDE, so call Mr. Wagner to learn what he can do to help you.
To receive your FREE lawyer consultation with The Wagner Law Firm, simply DIAL 304-901-7400, to start the process. We treat you like family. The professional DUI WV case assessment by DUI attorney Wagner is FREE and you can shift your worries and the burden of deciding what to do off your shoulders and onto the shoulders of highly-acclaimed Mr. Wagner.
The Wagner Law Firm staff is ready and willing to show you the path to favorably resolving your WV DUI case.