West Virginia DUI Laws Marijuana – Drugged Driving Lawyer Explains
DUI drugs (DUID) cases are on the rise, as more and more West Virginians make the decision to drive after taking either their prescription medications, or illegal drugs like marijuana and methamphetamine, or “meth.”
While DUI alcohol is still the most common impaired driving offense across the state, prescribed drugs DUI has experienced a definite upward trend. Drug impaired driving will only get worse.
WV DUI drugs lawyer Harley Wagner knows WV DUI drugs law very well. A new DUI drugs bill went into effect on June 1, 2013, and its purpose was to expand the implied consent notice to include drivers suspected of driving under the influence of controlled substances such as marijuana, cocaine, heroine, meth, and prescription drugs like opiates and benzodiazepines. Over the counter medications can also impair an unsuspecting driver.
WV police can detect drug impairment through a blood test that is given after a person is arrested. This DUI blood test is either given at a medical facility, or at police headquarters. But it is much harder for police officers to detect drug impairment than it is for alcohol impairment. That is why police agencies across West VA are spending money on better drug impaired driving detection training for their arresting officers, because DUI drugs arrests are only going to climb higher.
If you refuse to take this official blood test, you face the consequences of a DUI refusal, the harshest penalty being loss of your driver’s license for one (1) year.
When you are issued a West VA driver’s license, you automatically give your implied consent to be tested for the presence of alcohol or drugs through the use of a breath test, blood test, or urine test. After you are handcuffed by the arresting officer, it is the officer’s legal duty to read the implied consent notice to you.
If the officer fails to do read the implied consent advisement to you, Harley Wagner may be able to get your breath, blood, or urine test results excluded from evidence, and that is a huge advantage.
Is There a Legal Limit for Drugs Like There Is for Alcohol?
No. West Virginia Code Section 17C-5-2 prohibits driving any vehicle under the influence of any controlled substance or prescription drug. You will be charged with DUI drugs if the WV prosecutor decides that you were too impaired to drive. West Virginia has no set legal levels on prescription drugs on our statute, and cases really come down to a doctor or expert advising that a certain level of a particular drug is consistent with recreational use, not legal therapeutic use.
So, a doctor or other expert witness could determine that you “took too many pills” and did not follow instructions printed on the vial or bottle. In the case of illegal drugs, the prosecution only needs to find trace amounts of the substance in a person’s bloodstream, versus you were actively under the influence when pulled over. Marijuana is the only illicit drug that has legal levels listed.
DUI Drugs First Offense Penalties
If you are convicted of a DUI drugs charge, and you DID NOT refuse a chemical test, the judge will impose the following minimum sentence:
- Jail time up to 6 months
- Ignition Interlock Device for 45 Days
- $100 minimum fine
- Loss of driver’s license up to 6 months
The penalties above are general guidelines for a first offense DUI drugs arrest. The consequences get worse if you already have a prior DUI, the level of drugs in your system is extremely high, or you are a CDL commercial license holder (bus driver, 18 wheeler driver).
West VA DUI drugs lawyer Harley Wagner serves the following counties:
- Berkeley County
- Cabell County
- Hampshire County
- Hancock County
- Hardy County
- Harrison County
- Jefferson County
- Kanawha County
- Marion County
- Mercer County
- Mineral County
- Monongalia County (WVU)
- Morgan County
- Ohio County
- Raleigh County
WV DUI attorney Harley Wagner:
Has represented over 2,000 relieved clients
Has specialized in DUI defense for over 18 years
Has been named a WV Super Lawyer 5 years in a row
Wrote the book West Virginia DUI Defense – The Law and Practice
Has attended more than 60 DUI defense training seminars nationwide
Treats all of his clients with the utmost respect
Don’t take a chance on your future when it comes to a DUI drugs charge in West Virginia. Harley Wagner will treat you like a family member, and will lay out all options for you to consider.
Harley knows the court system in every county in West Virginia, and has been successful in getting cases dismissed and charges reduced for young family members with their whole future ahead of them.