West Virginia DUI law has two theories under which you can be convicted of DUI. The first is the common-law theory. This allows you to be convicted based on your driving pattern and failure of a field sobriety test. Your appearance can also be used to prove that you are driving drunk under the common-law theory. The goal is to prove that you are impaired enough by alcohol or drugs to make your driving unsafe. The other way you can be convicted is through the state's per se law, which states that it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. In this case it does not matter if you appear to be impaired or not.DUI Arrests in West Virginia
West Virginia operates under an implied consent law. This means that you must submit to blood or breath testing for BAC after your arrest. If you refuse to take the test, you will face a longer license suspension time.
Your Virginia DUI arrest will cause you to face two cases, one in the criminal courts and one in the Division of Motor Vehicles. The criminal case is the case where you will face the majority of your DUI punishments, including jail time and hefty fines. The Division of Motor Vehicles administrative case will determine how long your driving privileges will be suspended.
You can argue for your right to drive at this hearing. However, you must request the hearing within a specified period of time, or your license will automatically be suspended. Having a DUI attorney working with you will help ensure that you are successful in requesting the DUI hearing.Basic Consequences for First Time Offenders
If your West Virginia DUI conviction is your first, you can expect to face the following consequences at your criminal court case:
The state of West Virginia has a 10-year look back period. This means that prior DUI convictions are only considered if they happened within the last 10 years. This could mean that you have a prior DUI conviction on your record but are still treated like a first time offender. According to west virginia dui punishments, there are look back period which is 10 years. If you had any conviction in the history, it will show up on their system.License Suspensions for West Virginia DUI
The Division of Motor Vehicles will also suspend your license as a result of your DUI conviction. Typical license suspension times are as follows:
If you refuse to take the BAC test, your license will automatically be suspended for at least a year. The DMV also controls the administration of the ignition interlock devices. You could lessen your license suspension time by agreeing to use the ignition interlock device. You will pay for the device and for being part of the program.Insurance Consequences
As a result of your West Virginia DUI conviction, you will face consequences with your insurance company. You could lose your insurance coverage altogether, depending on the policies of the company. If you do not lose your coverage, you will see an increase in your insurance rates after your arrest. Shopping for a new insurance company will not help, because most insurance providers charge higher rates to drivers who have DUI convictions on their records.