DUI laws have existed in the United States since 1910. New York and New Mexico paved the way for other states to begin passing laws regulating what should happen to those operating conveyances under the influence of alcohol. Now all 50 states have DUI laws that regulate everything from underage drunk drivers to dealing with aggravating circumstances.
Aggravated DUI laws come into play in most states at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15%, some states have higher BAC levels, and drastically increase punishments. In several states, an aggravated DUI is automatically considered a felony, even for a first offense. A West Virginia aggravated DUI charge occurs at .15% and it is considered a misdemeanor level offense unless there are previous DUI convictions or other aggravating factors, such as a DUI accident related death or serious injury.
A West Virginia aggravated DUI conviction increases the state’s mandatory minimum penalties for a regular DUI, which include both administrative and criminal penalties. Administrative penalties include the automatic suspension of your license at the scene of the DUI traffic stop. You will be granted 30 days in which to request a hearing to fight the administrative license suspension. Criminal penalties include:
● Jail time: There’s no mandatory minimum for a first offense, unless you are charged with a West Virginia Aggravated DUI which carries a minimum of 48 hours in jail with up to 6 months as the maximum.
● Fines of $100-$500 plus court costs or $100-$1,000 plus court costs if it’s an aggravated DUI.
● License suspended for 15-45 days as long as you install an ignition interlock device (IID) that will be required for 125 days or 6 months without an IID. If you refuse BAC testing your license will be suspended for a year with the possibility of an ignition interlock device after 45 days.
Penalties for DUIs are serious and have long-reaching consequences. Regardless of your location in the United States, laws governing DUIs are strict and meant to discourage offenders from ever getting behind the wheel.