West Virginia's Drugged Driving Law

Learn about the laws and penalties for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) in West Virginia.

West Virginia’s drugged driving law is found at West Virginia Code Section 17C-5-2. It prohibits driving under the influence of any controlled substance or drug. In other words, in West Virginia it’s a crime to drive while impaired from drug use. No blood testing standard is established in West Virginia – that is, there is no fixed amount of drugs within the blood system that determines conviction. Whether a driver is impaired is determined on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the prosecutor.

West Virginia also prohibits driving by someone who “is a habitual user of narcotic drugs or amphetamine or any derivative thereof” to drive in this “state.”

What drugs are prohibited?

West Virginia’s drugged driving law is directed at the prohibition of controlled substances -- that is, any drug or chemical regulated by the government. A listing of controlled substances regulated by federal law are found at the Drug Enforcement Administration website. It’s not an acceptable defense to a drugged driving charge to claim that the driver is legally entitled to use the controlled substance, and that includes medical marijuana users.

What happens if a driver is convicted of drug impaired driving in West Virginia?

A driver arrested for drugged driving in West Virginia will be charged with driving under the influence and subject to DUI penalties. A conviction for drugged driving will be considered as a prior offense for purposes of calculating punishment regardless of whether a subsequent offense is due to alcohol or drugs. Read more about West Virginia’s DUI laws.

Do West Virginia drivers have to submit to drug testing?

There is no implied consent rule for drug testing of drivers in West Virginia.

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