West Virginia's Drugged Driving Laws

How drug use can result in a DUI charge in West Virginia and the penalties that result from a conviction.

West Virginia not only prohibits drunk driving but also driving while under the influence (DUI) of drugs. The penalties for a drug DUI are generally the same as those for an alcohol-related offense.

This article discusses how West Virginia defines drugged driving and the consequences of a violation.

Drugged Driving Defined

A West Virginia motorist can be convicted of a drug DUI for driving or being in "actual physical control" of a vehicle while under the influence of any controlled substance, inhalant, or other drug. In other words, you can get a DUI for operating a vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicating substance.

Drugged Driving Penalties

The consequences of a West Virginia drugged driving conviction depend on the circumstances. But generally, a DUI carries the following possible penalties:

  • First offense. A first DUI conviction is a misdemeanor and generally carries a fine of $100 to $500, up to six months in jail, and a license suspension of six months.
  • Second offense. For a second DUI within ten years, the offender is generally looking at six months to a year in jail, $1,000 to $3,000 in fines, and a ten-year license revocation.
  • Third offense. Generally, a third DUI within ten years will be a felony and result in two to five years in jail, $3,000 to $5,000 in fines, and a lifetime license revocation.

Generally, DUI first offenders are eligible to participate in a program that allows them to drive during the suspension period with an ignition interlock device. However, if the offense involved drugs, the offender won't be eligible for the program.

Getting Legal Help

West Virginia DUI law is complex, and the facts of every case are different. If you've been arrested for driving under the influence, talk to an experienced DUI attorney in your area. A qualified DUI lawyer can tell you how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on the best course of action.

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