West Virginia DUI FAQ
Accurate Answers to Your Pressing DUI Questions
If you or someone in your family has been arrested and charged with DUI, you are probably feeling nervous and unsure what to do next. With your future at stake, you need support and advocacy from a West Virginia DUI attorney you can trust.
Let The Wagner Law Firm step in and help you. Attorney Harley Wagner has over 22 years of DUI defense experience and extensive knowledge of the state’s DUI laws. He has answers to all of your questions. Read the FAQ below and don’t hesitate to reach out if you still have further questions.
Arrested for drunk driving? Call (304) 461-6000 for more assistance and a free consultation.
I’ve been arrested for a DUI in West Virginia. What will happen to me now?
Under the old West Virginia DUI laws that were in place in for decades, there existed two entirely separate court systems, the criminal court and the driver's license administrative court (a.k.a. "DMV hearings"). Under the old system, the result that occurred in the criminal court, a plea to a lesser charge, dismissed, a not guilty verdict, etc., did not affect or control the subsequent result in the driver's license administrative court. Under the new DUI legislation that went into effect on July 1, 2020 in West Virginia, there is one court system that now handles all aspects of a DUI case, including criminal penalty and driver's license penalty. Simply put, if you are not convicted of DUI, there is no license suspension. Conversely, if you are convicted of any type of DUI, the level of DUI conviction received will determine the type of driver's license sanction the citizen ultimately receives from the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (e.g. DUI 1st non-aggravated, DUI 1st aggravated, DUI drugs, DUI 2nd, etc.).
It is imperative that you contact The Wagner Law Firm to protect yourself from a DUI conviction and the penalties it carries.
After your suspension ends, you are eligible to have your license reinstated upon completion of the DUI Safety and Treatment Program. It is possible that you could have a lifetime suspension if you are a repeat offender or have not taken the necessary steps to get your license lawfully reinstated. Don’t let this happen to you. It is important that you still be able to drive so you can get to court, work, and school.
Can I refuse the secondary breath or blood test at the police station?
On July 1, 2020, Senate Bill 130 went into effect. This new policy removed the idea of implied consent. From July 1 on, to test a driver's BAC at the police station, the driver must either give consent or a warrant must be obtained to draw blood.
Under the new law, if a citizen is arrested for DUI in the state of West Virginia and is alleged to have refused the breath machine at the police station post arrest, the citizen will have 30 days from being arraigned, bonded and released in which to request a “refusal hearing.” If the citizen does not request this hearing in a timely manner, they will then lose their driver’s license for one year, or conversely be given the option of having an interlock breath testing device installed in their car for 410 days (i.e. thirteen and one-half months). Thus, it is now more important than ever for a citizen arrested for DUI in West Virginia to promptly contact The Wagner Law Firm to consult on your case. Failure to do so will now greatly affect the citizen’s driver’s license and ultimate case results.
Unlike many other states, if your license is suspended due to a DUI, you cannot be put back on the road immediately with a restricted license to drive to and from work. The only possible way to reduce the length of your suspension is to participate in the alcohol test and lock program. Talk to Harley Wagner about this program – which requires the installation of an ignition interlock device – and how you can apply for it right away.
Do I have to tell my boss about a DUI arrest?
The following are several examples when you must report a DUI to your boss:
- It says so on your employment contract or policy – If a company policy or your employment contract states are you are obligated to disclose any arrests or convictions with your employer, you must do so. Failure to uphold your contract can lead to getting fired from your job.
- Your job requires you to drive – Whether you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or operate a company vehicle, a DUI arrest can affect your ability to perform your work duties. In addition, your employer may be held liable for any accidents or injuries you cause, if the injured party shows in court that your employer knew or should’ve known about your DUI and allowed you to drive.
- You hold a professional license – Professionals such as doctors, teachers, realtors, plumbers, lawyers, and other workers licensed by the State of West Virginia are required to report any arrests prior to renewing their professional license. However, if a professional obtains treatment or counseling soon after arrest, this might be enough to keep your professional license.
- Your boss finds out – Sometimes gossip from coworkers make it all the way to the top. If your boss finds out about your DUI through word of mouth, it is wise to be honest and avoid denying your arrest. Ask your employer to judge you by your overall body of work and for their patience while the criminal justice process plays out.
If you have been charged with a West Virginia DUI, contact The Wagner Law Firm today at (304) 461-6000 today for a free case evaluation.