DUI Deferral Programs

Welcome to The Wagner Law Firm blog, where we strive to provide valuable insights into navigating the legal landscape of DUIs in West Virginia. In this blog post, we’ll explore a topic of significant importance for those facing DUI charges: DUI deferral programs.

Facing DUI charges can be a daunting experience, with potential consequences ranging from fines and license suspension to imprisonment and long-term repercussions on one’s personal and professional life. However, in West Virginia, DUI deferral programs offer eligible individuals an alternative path that may lead to the dismissal or reduction of their DUI charges.

Defining DUI in West Virginia

In West Virginia, DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, and it is defined as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both to the extent that the person’s faculties are impaired. Specifically, West Virginia Code § 17C-5-2 establishes the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at:

– 0.08% or higher for individuals operating regular passenger vehicles.

– 0.04% or higher for individuals operating commercial vehicles.

– 0.02% or higher for individuals under the age of 21.

It’s important to note that in West Virginia, you can be charged with DUI even if your BAC is below the legal limit if your ability to drive safely is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Penalties for DUI in West Virginia

In West Virginia, DUI convictions come with strict penalties that can profoundly impact individuals found guilty of the offense. These penalties are determined by several factors like prior DUI convictions, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, and whether the incident involved aggravating circumstances such as accidents or injuries.

Common penalties for DUI convictions in West Virginia include fines ranging from $100 to $500 for first-time offenders, with subsequent offenses carrying fines of up to $3,000 or more. Additionally, driving privileges are typically suspended for periods ranging from 15 days to one year or longer, depending on the severity of the offense.

Offenders may also be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicle. This device necessitates passing a breathalyzer test before the vehicle can be started, serving as a measure to prevent intoxicated driving.

Jail time is another potential consequence of DUI convictions, with sentences varying from 24 hours to one year or more, depending on the specific circumstances of the offense. Furthermore, offenders may be placed on probation, which often involves conditions such as attending alcohol education programs, completing community service, or abstaining from alcohol and drug use during the probationary period.

Defense Strategies for DUI Charges

Creating a strong defense against DUI charges involves a thorough examination of the evidence, a deep understanding of procedural and constitutional rights, and experience in DUI law. There are several common defense strategies that can be employed:

One strategy involves questioning the validity of the initial stop. If law enforcement did not have a valid reason to stop your vehicle, any evidence gathered during that stop might be deemed inadmissible.

Another approach is to challenge the accuracy or reliability of the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test results. This can be done through expert testimony or by highlighting potential flaws in the testing procedures, such as improper calibration of breathalyzer devices or mishandling of blood samples.

A third defense strategy focuses on demonstrating that despite the presence of alcohol or drugs in your system, your ability to drive was not impaired. This can be supported by presenting evidence such as video footage of your driving, witness testimony affirming your sobriety, or expert analysis showing that your BAC levels did not significantly impact your motor skills.

Additionally, constitutional violations can be a key aspect of the defense. This involves challenging any violations of your constitutional rights during the arrest process, such as illegal searches or seizures, failure to provide Miranda warnings, or infringements on your right to due process.

By carefully considering these defense strategies and working with legal professionals experienced in DUI cases, you can build a robust defense tailored to your specific circumstances.


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

West Virginia’s DUI Deferral Program

West Virginia’s DUI deferral program is designed to provide first-time DUI offenders with an opportunity to avoid a conviction by completing a court-approved diversion program. Instead of proceeding with traditional criminal proceedings, eligible individuals may be diverted into this program, allowing them to address the underlying issues related to their DUI offense while avoiding the long-term consequences of a conviction.

Eligibility Requirements for the DUI Deferral Program

The DUI Deferral Program in West Virginia has specific eligibility requirements that applicants must meet. These criteria include being a first-time offender, not being involved in an accident resulting in serious injury or death, not having previous license suspensions, or holding a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below a certain threshold, and not being charged with DUI drugs or having a minor in the vehicle. These guidelines ensure that the program is available to those who meet certain criteria and are less likely to pose significant risks to public safety.

Components of the DUI Deferral Program

The DUI deferral program is structured to tackle the underlying issues related to DUI offenses through several key components. These include a substance abuse evaluation to gauge dependency levels and treatment needs, educational sessions, such as alcohol awareness classes and counseling, tailored treatment programs, community service hours to contribute positively to communities while fulfilling program obligations, and probation supervision, which includes refraining from alcohol and drug use, undergoing random drug testing, and attending regular check-ins with a probation officer.

Outcomes After Successful Completion

Upon successful completion of the DUI deferral program, participants may have their DUI charges dismissed or reduced. This outcome can significantly mitigate the consequences of a DUI arrest, including avoiding a conviction on their criminal record and the associated penalties such as fines, license suspension, and jail time.

Harley Wagner

Defending West Virginia Residents for over 24 Years

Consequences of Failing the DUI Deferral Program

Failure to comply with the requirements of the DUI deferral program may result in termination from the program and reinstatement of criminal proceedings. Individuals who fail to complete the program may face the full range of penalties associated with a DUI conviction, including fines, license suspension, and potential incarceration.

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 Your Future

West Virginia’s DUI deferral program offers a valuable opportunity for first-time DUI offenders to address their charges and potentially avoid the long-term consequences of a conviction. By completing a court-approved diversion program, eligible individuals can work towards dismissal or reduction of their DUI charges, allowing them to move forward with their lives without the burden of a criminal record and associated penalties.

If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges in West Virginia, it’s crucial to explore all available options, including participation in the DUI deferral program. The Wagner Law Firm is here to provide the guidance, support, and legal representation you need to navigate the complexities of the legal system and pursue the best possible outcome for your case.

Don’t face DUI charges alone  contact The Wagner Law Firm today to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards protecting your rights and securing your future.