DUI License Suspension in West Virginia
The Wagner Law Firm Can Fight to Protect Your License
Did you know that under West Virginia DUI law, in certain circumstances you could lose your driver’s license permanently after a DUI arrest? If you refuse to take a chemical test, your license can be suspended a full 45 days, and in some instances for life.
If you refuse the chemical test, you will have 45 days with no driving whatsoever, followed by 12 months of an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. Alternatively, you can request one full year with no driving whatsoever.
Unlike some states, West Virginia does not afford work privileges on a license suspended for DUI. Each suspension period is a “hard suspension” with no driving at all – period! Further, if you have a prior DUI license suspension within a 10-year period, you will face even harsher license suspension possibilities. West Virginia DUI lawyer Harley Wagner knows the state’s DUI laws. It is important to consult with him right away after a DUI arrest.
Remember: In West Virginia, you do NOT have the right to speak with an attorney before making the decision to take a chemical test or not. But once you decide to seek legal advice, you should reach out toThe Wagner Law Firm immediately if you want to save your driver’s license.
Contact Harley Wagner online or at (304) 461-6000 to schedule a free consultation. He proudly serves Berkeley, Jefferson, and Monongalia counties and all of West Virginia.
Protect Your Driving Privileges
With 22 years of experience, Harley is ready to fight to keep your license. However, if there is a license suspension, Harley may advise you to participate in the West Virginia alcohol test and lock program. This entails installing an ignition interlock device into your car that you will be required to blow into in order to start the vehicle.
Use of this device can substantially reduce your license suspension period and often will be mandatory for lawful driving. If your BAC is above .04, the interlock is activated and your vehicle will not start. What’s worse is that you will be kicked out of the program. The benefit of this program is that upon completion, you may reinstate your full driving privileges.
The alcohol test and lock program does cost money, with fees for installation and monthly charges. If you choose to participate in the alcohol test and lock program, you can be back driving after only 15 days. If you don’t participate in the program, you won’t be able to lawfully drive for at least 90 days (and, in most cases, you won’t be able to lawfully drive for the rest of your life). You will have to complete the West Virginia safety and treatment program in any case if you want your driving privileges reinstated.
Potential License Suspension Penalties
In West Virginia, there are two types of first-offense DUI charges. If your BAC is .15 or lower, it is called “non-aggravated DUI.” If your BAC is higher than .15, the charge will be “aggravated DUI.” With a non-aggravated DUI, you can choose 90 days of no driving or 15 days with no driving, plus 120 days with an interlock device. With an aggravated DUI, there is a mandatory 45 days of no driving and 9 months with the interlock device.
If you have been convicted of one other DUI within the past 10 years, your license will be suspended (no driving) for one year and you will be required to have an interlock device for two years. A third DUI within 10 years means no driving for a year and then three years with the device installed in your vehicle.
If you maintain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), the penalties are even more severe. A first-offense drunk driving conviction carries a mandatory one-year suspension in all 50 states per federal law. A second offense carries a mandatory lifetime suspension. Harley Wagner has defended numerous citizens accused of DUI in West Virginia who maintain a commercial driver’s license and can put his experience to work for you.
DUI Deferral Program
If your DUI case is one that is approved for the DUI Deferral Program, where your alleged BAC is less than .15 or you refused the breath machine at the police station after arrest, then you are looking at a 15-day suspension and 165 days of interlock installation in your vehicle.
Alternatively, you can request a 45-day hard suspension followed by 12 months interlock installation in your vehicle for your first-offense DUI to be dismissed. In order to qualify, you cannot have a prior DUI conviction in your lifetime or a DUI-related license suspension – and you must make a request to the court for the Deferral Program within 30 days of the date of your arrest.
Strict Laws in West Virginia
In many states, there are ways to get back behind the wheel immediately. But in West Virginia, even a first-time offender cannot drive with restrictions, or even get a permit to drive to and from work. The only way to reduce the length of your suspension is to participate in the alcohol test and lock program.
That is why it is essential that you speak with Harley Wagner quickly. He can tell you how to get involved with this program and how it can help get you back on the road quickly.
Of further note, on June 6, 2014, our West Virginia legislature enacted a new interlock law whereby a citizen can forego contesting his or her license suspension and be afforded the ability to do the entire suspension period on interlock without any hard suspension issued.
For example, on a first-offense DUI where the BAC is alleged to be less than .15, the citizen can elect not to contest the DMV suspension and therein do the entire suspension all on interlock, foregoing the actual 45-day hard suspension.
Harley Wagner knows this new interlock law inside and out and how it could potentially benefit your DUI case. Remember, you could lose your driver’s license forever if you don’t take the necessary steps following your DUI arrest. This whole ordeal can be very confusing, and that is why it’s in your best interest to sit down with Harley Wagner right away. The faster you speak with an experienced DUI lawyer in West Virginia, the easier getting back your driver’s license will be.
Contact Harley now to get started. Call (304) 461-6000.
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Dismissed DUI 1st (Morgantown, WV)
Reduced to Misdemeanor .14 Felony DUI Causing Death Case (Martinsburg, WV)
Not Guilty DUI Felony 3rd Offense (Berkeley Springs, WV)
Not Guilty DUI 1st. (Martinsburg, WV)
Charge Reduced Aggravated DUI 1st (Morgantown, WV)
Over 20 Years of Experience
More Than 2,500 DUI Cases Handled
Performed 800 Hours of DUI Defense Training
Award Winning Representation
Faculty Member at DUI Defense Lawyers Association
Author of West Virginia's Preeminent DUI Book: West Virginia DUI Defense: The Law and Practice