WV DUI Frequently Asked Questions

Get accurate answers from WV DUI lawyer Harley Wagner.

I’ve been arrested for a WV DWI. What will happen to me now?

Your license is at stake right away. In fact, within 48 hours of your arrest, the police officer is statutorily required to file notice of your arrest with the WV DMV in Charleston to begin licensing suspension action against you. Your right to drive is at stake! Call (304) 901-7400 no matter what time of day or night – even weekends. We are here to explain what you must do to keep your driver’s license as your case progresses.

All is not lost. Remember, you have the right to request a hearing from the West Virginia DMV within 30 days of receipt of notice of license suspension to preserve your right to challenge the suspension of your license while continuing to lawfully drive. If you fail to make this request, you will lose the right to drive on the date of suspension sent to you by the DMV. Call us and we will help you file this request.

In addition to the administrative hearing with the DMV, there will also be a second case – your criminal case. If convicted, there are some extremely serious DUI punishments. That’s why getting an experienced WV DUI lawyer like Harley Wagner on your side is the best idea for you right now.

My license has been suspended. How do I get it back?

After your suspension or revocation ends, you are eligible to have your license reinstated. 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.  Learn how we can help save your license during your FREE consultation. It is important that you still be able to drive so you can get to court, work, and school.

What is the purpose of an administrative hearing with the DMV?

This is your chance to show that your driver’s license suspension is not justified. If you do nothing and don’t request a hearing, the WV Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can suspend your license and you won’t be able to drive anywhere for any purpose. This is called a “hard suspension.” West Virginia does not issue temporary permits. If you lose your license but decide to drive anyway, you risk getting arrested again while your DUI case is pending. That is a very hard situation to overcome.

West Virginia DUI attorney Harley Wagner knows West Virginia DMV laws. It is important to consult with him right away after a WV DUI arrest.

I took the chemical test, so how long will my driving privileges be suspended?

In West Virginia, there are two types of DUI first offense charges. If your BAC is .15 or lower, that is called non-aggravated. If it is higher than .15, the charge will be aggravated DUI. When it comes to your license, 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/blow tube (as discussed above).

With an aggravated DUI, there is a mandatory 45 days of no driving and 9 months with the interlock/blow tube.

Out of state licensee cases are treated the exact same as if you held a West Virginia driver’s license. These types of cases involve someone who was visiting Charleston, Martinsburg, or Morgantown on business or pleasure, and then got pulled over and arrested for drunk driving or drugged driving.

If you reside in a different state but do not own a vehicle, you can request a flat six months no driving in West Virginia with no mandatory interlock device. Harley Wagner has years of experience defending out of state clients, and he can save you a lot of hassle and travel time back to WV.

If you have been convicted of one other DUI within the past 10 years, your license will be suspended (no driving) for 1 year. Then you will be required to have a blow tube for 2 years. A third DUI within 10 years means no driving for a year and 3 years with the blow tube device in your vehicle as required by the West Virginia DMV.

I need to get to and from work. Can I get a restricted license?

Unlike many other states, if your license is suspended due to a West Virginia DWI, 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.

I refused to take a chemical test. What does that mean for me?

After being arrested for a WV DWI, West Virginia implied consent law requires you to take a secondary chemical test to determine your BAC level. These tests include a breath test, blood test, or urine test. If you refused any one of these tests, the West Virginia DMV can suspend your license for 45 days, a year with a blow tube installed in your vehicle, or one year no driving at all. This is called a DUI refusal. If you have multiple DUI convictions, your license could be suspended indefinitely.

Can I consult with a WV DUI attorney before deciding to take a chemical test?

In West Virginia, you do not have the right to speak with an attorney before deciding whether or not to submit to a chemical test. The police officer is not legally required to let you call an attorney during or after your arrest for impaired driving. Once at the jail, you will be able to call your lawyer. If you call Harley Wagner, he can help you get released from jail faster.

How is the DMV suspension or revocation for the arrest different from the suspension or revocation following my drunk driving conviction in criminal court?

The DMV suspension or revocation is an administrative action taken against your driving privilege only. The suspension or revocation following a conviction for a West Virginia DWI in court is a mandatory action for which jail, a court fine, or other criminal penalty can be imposed.

If I am an out of state driver, will my DUI penalties be different?

If you were charged in a different state than the state you are licensed in, please see below.

State by State DUI Penalties.