DUI Laws in West Virginia
Section 17C-5-2 for Driving under the Influence law in West Virginia prohibits an individual to operate a vehicle if he/she has ingested drugs. The concentration of blood alcohol equal to or greater than 0.08% will cause the driver to fall under DUI offence. In many cases, drivers do not display any signs of driving under the influence. The section states that an officer can arrest the driver if a chemical test displays [0.08% or greater] concentration of blood alcohol.
The DUI law also states that the driver can be charged even if his blood alcohol is less than 0.08%. In such cases, the driver displays the driving patterns in consistency with a person under Driving under the Influence. There are strong possibilities that the officer on reasonable grounds of suspicion may ask the driver to submit field sobriety tests. The law does not require any person to perform the tests and in similar scenarios allows him/her to refuse to submit. But, if the test is found positive, it will result in license revocation for 1 year. The driver will stand eligible to drive only after 45 days and when the ignition interlock device has been installed. The law mandates installing the device for at least 125 days.
DUI is a punishable offence
The blood alcohol concentration of .08% to .149% will put the individual under conviction. If proven, the driver may be imprisoned for 48 hours and up to 6 months and $100-$500 fine. The person will also have to pay the court cost. If the chemical test result in 0.15% BAC levels, person may be fined up to $1000 as well as the court cost. DUI attorney in West Virginia can assist the convicts and suggest ways to face minimum penalty and prison sentence.
The arresting officer has the right to seize the driver’s license and issue revocation notice. DUI laws do not mandate the convict to be face jail. But, the decision of imposing a penalty of imprisoning lies with the court. If convicted for First offence DUI, the court may prohibit the individual to drive suspending the administrative license for up to 3 months. This period may even go beyond 90 days until the convict attends all DUI classes and pay reinstatement fee in full. It is important to hire a DUI attorney when it comes to overturning the license suspension and a strong client representation during the administrative hearings.
The Second and Third Offence DUI
Second Offence DUI can result in prison of upto 1 year, $1000-$3000 fine plus court cost, and 5-10 year revocation of license on refusal. Third offence DUI results in prison sentence of 1-3 years, fine of $3000-$5000 with court costs, and lifetime license suspension on refusal.
DUI attorneys can help their convicted client by requesting hearing within 30 days from the date client was arrested. In case DUI attorney fails to request an administrative hearing, the official cancellation of the driving license will stand.