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West Virginia DUI Laws & Penalties

West Virginia DUI law section 17C-5-2 states that it is against the law for any person to drive a motor vehicle in the state of West Virginia while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater.

It is not necessary for a person who has been stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence to display the signs one would typically associate with someone who is under the influence.  Just the fact that a chemical test shows a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater will get you arrested for DUI in the state of West Virginia.

It should also be noted that a person could still be arrested for driving under the influence in the state of West Virginia even if their blood alcohol concentration level is below the legal limit of .08% just by displaying signs that are consistent with a person who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

When an officer stops someone on suspicion of DUI in West Virginia, the officer is already starting to build a case against that person by observing their driving patterns prior to initiating the DUI stop.  If the officer has established reasonable grounds and suspects that someone is under the influence, the officer is going to request that the individual perform some field sobriety test (it is not required by law that you submit to the field sobriety tests. If an officer asks you to take the field sobriety test, just kindly refuse his request).

West Virginia DUI Administrative Hearing

When an officer arrests someone for DUI in West Virginia the officer is going to confiscate your license and issue you a notice of suspension/revocation.  If you wish to challenge the suspension or revocation of your driver's license you or your WV DUI lawyer must request an administrative hearing within 30 days from the date of your arrest.  If you fail to make your request within this 30 day window, you will not be granted a hearing and the officer's revocation of your driver's license will stand.

It is very important to hire a WV DUI lawyer who has experience when it comes to representing clients at administrative license hearings if you hope to have any chance of having the revocation of your driving privileges overturned.  You can expect a West Virginia DUI lawyer to charge between $400 and $500 to represent a client at an administrative hearing.

West Virginia First Offense DUI

A first offense West Virginia DUI conviction is a Misdemeanor offense and carries the following penalties:

Jail time:  A first offense conviction with a BAC of less than .15% could result in a jail sentence of up to 6-months.  If your BAC was .15% or more you will be facing a minimum of 2 days in jail up to a maximum of 6-months. If you refused to submit to a chemical test you will be facing a minimum of 24-hours in jail up to a maximum of 6-months.

Fines:  A first offense conviction with a BAC of less than .15% or a test refusal will result in a fine of $100 to $500 plus court costs.  If your BAC was .15% or more the fine amount will be between $100 and $1,000 plus court costs.

License Revocation:  Your license will be revoked for 6-months following a first offense.  A person convicted of a first offense with a BAC of less than .15% may be eligible to participate in the Test & Lock Program after a minimum 15 day revocation, you will then be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for a period of 125 days.

A first time offender with a BAC of .15% or more faces a minimum 45 day revocation and may be eligible for participation in the Test & Lock Programand will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for a period of 1-year.

A first time offender who refused to submit to a chemical test faces a minimum 45 day revocation and may be eligible for participation in the Test & Lock Program and will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for a period of 275 days.

Before the West Virginia DMV will reinstate your license following your revocation period or accept you into the Test & Lock Program you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a West Virginia SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability coverage limits.  You will also have to pay a license reinstatement fee to the DMV.

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West Virginia Second Offense DUI

A second offense West Virginia DUI conviction is a Misdemeanor offense and carries the following penalties:

Jail time:  A second offense conviction will result in a jail sentence of between 6-months and 1-year.

Fines:  A second offense conviction will result in a fine amount of between $1,000 and $3,000 plus associated court costs.

License Revocation:  Your license could be revoked for up to 10-years following a second offense.  You may be eligible to participate in the Test & Lock Program after the first year of your revocation period has passed.

Before the West Virginia DMV will reinstate your license following your revocation period or accept you into the Test & Lock Program you will be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of a West Virginia SR22 insurance policy that meets the states minimum auto insurance liability coverage limits.  You will also have to pay a license reinstatement fee to the DMV.

West Virginia Third or Subsequent Offense DUI

A third or subsequent offense West Virginia DUI conviction carries the following penalties:

Jail time:  A third or subsequent offense conviction will result in a jail sentence of between 1-year and 3-years.

Fines:  A third or subsequent offense conviction will result in a fine amount of between $3,000 and $5,000 plus associated court costs.

License Revocation:  Your license could be revoked for life following a third offense conviction.

West Virginia CDL DUI Laws

A person operating a commercial motor vehicle in the state of West Virginia while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or an intoxicant with a blood alcohol concentration of .04% or greater or failing to submit to a chemical test is in violation of the state's laws regarding CDL's and will be arrested for DUI and your CDL will be revoked for a period of 1-year following a first offense violation.  A second CDL DUI offense will result in your CDL being revoked for life.

If you were carrying hazardous materials at the time, your CDL will be revoked for 3-years. A second offense violation while carrying hazardous materials will result in a permanent CDL revocation, you will never be able to drive or operate a CMV again.  A CMV operator stopped and found to have any measurable amount of alcohol less than .04% in their system will be issued an "out-of-service" notice and will not be allowed to drive for the next 24-hours.

West Virginia DUI Under 21 Years of Age

In the State of West Virginia if you are under the age of 21 and stopped by an officer and found to have any measurable amount of alcohol in your system at the time, you will be arrested for violating West Virginia's "zero tolerance" law for underage drinking and driving.

A first offense violation will result in a fine of between $25 and $100 and your license will be revoked for 60 days.  A second offense under the age of 21 will result in your being fined $100 to $500, you will have to spend 24-hours in jail and your license will be revoked for 1-year or until your 21st birthday, whichever is longer.  As a requirement of license reinstatement you will have to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle as part of the West Virginia Test & Lock Program.

If you are under 21 and are arrested for having a BAC level of .08% or greater you will be facing the same fines and penalties as someone over 21 would face for the same offense.

You will also be required to show proof of financial responsibility in the form of an West Virginia SR22 policy before the DMV will reinstate your license.

West Virginia SR22 Requirements

Before the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will reinstate your license following your revocation period, they will require you to file an SR22 form with them before issuing you a new license. You will be required to carry your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years.

At anytime during this 3-year period if there is a lapse in your West Virginia SR22 insurance coverage, your insurance provider is obligated by law to immediately inform the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles of the lapse.  If a lapse in coverage occurs, the West Virginia DMV will immediately revoke your license and you will be required to re-file an SR22 form with the DMV before they will issue you another license.

Since you are going to have to have your SR22 insurance for a period of 3-years, it is important to find the cheapest policy you can before choosing one.  DUI Process has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of West Virginia and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won't be able to find a SR22 insurance policy in West Virginia for any less.Type in your zip code below so we can provide you with the cheapest rates in your area.

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Other West Virginia DUI Resources

  • West Virginia First Offense DUI - First offense information including penalties, fines, potential jail time, license suspension, DUI classes, and much more.

  • West Virginia SR22 Insurance Filing - We have compiled everything you need to know about West Virginia SR22 insurance and filing requirements including important addresses, phone numbers, etc.

  • West Virginia DUI Education Program - We offer a complete listing of state approved DUI programs listed by County.

  • West Virginia Bail Bondsmen - Comprehensive list of West Virginia bail bond agents including address, phone, website, etc.

  • West Virignia DUI Courts - Comprehensive list of West Virginia criminal courts listed by County.

  • Jails in West Virginia - Comprehensive list of West Virignia jails and contact information.