Under West Virginia law, individuals with a .08 blood alcohol content are considered to be a drunk driver if they get behind the wheel of a car. Most Martinsburg drivers are probably aware of this legal .08 BAC limit. Even visitors can probably make an educated guess as to West Virginia’s legal limit since it is common across most jurisdictions.
Even though it is a well-known law, it doesn’t mean that it is one that is easy to follow. Do you know the exact moment when you have hit a .08 blood alcohol content? Do you know exactly how long after having a few beers your blood alcohol content will drop back down to that magic number? The truth is that this isn’t an easy determination to make.
Not only is this something that is hard to pinpoint, that moment could be different for the same individual on any given night. If a person gains weight, loses weight, eats less, eats more, is taking a medication or a whole other host of factors, the amount of alcohol that will get the person to that point can change. For young adults, inexperience with alcohol can make this determination even more difficult.
When law enforcement officials pull a driver over under the suspicion of drunk driving, they probably aren’t going to let a driver off simply because the driver didn’t know that the extra half a beer pushed his or her BAC to a .09.
The consequences that could follow a DUI conviction aren’t to be taken lightly. Even a first-offense could lead to license suspension, fines, higher car insurance rates or even an ignition interlock device.
Refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test doesn’t necessarily help either. West Virginia law also states that it is within a driver’s rights to refuse testing, but in that case, the DMV has the authority to automatically suspend driving privileges.
What can help? The best chance that a driver has is a defense attorney devoted to helping individuals facing these types of charges in Berkeley and Jefferson County. Drivers should know that consulting with a skilled attorney as soon as possible is also well within their rights.
Source: The Daily Athenaeum, “Hammered driving could get you nailed,” Hannah Chenoweth, Feb. 14, 2014