Are you wondering if you can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) while you’re sitting in a parked car in West Virginia? In this blog post, we will discuss what constitutes DUI in West Virginia and whether you can be charged with DUI while sitting in a parked car.
Overview of West Virginia DUI Laws
Driving under the influence is a serious offense in West Virginia, carrying steep penalties and potentially life-changing consequences. To navigate this complex legal landscape, it's essential to understand the state's DUI laws. In West Virginia, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is considered impaired driving. Those caught driving under the influence can face fines, jail time, and license suspension.
What Qualifies as DUI in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, a person is considered to be driving under the influence if they have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. This means that if you have consumed even just a few drinks, you run the risk of being charged with DUI.
Can You Be Arrested for DUI in West Virginia if You Are Sitting in a Parked Car?
While most people understand that being caught driving with a blood alcohol content level over the legal limit can result in a DUI charge, there is some confusion around whether you can be arrested for DUI in a parked car. The short answer is yes, you can be arrested for DUI even if your car is not moving. West Virginia defines driving as being in control of your vehicle. So, even if your car is off and you’re asleep, if you are in your vehicle while intoxicated and in possession of the car keys, you could be charged with DUI in West Virginia.
Penalties for DUI Convictions in West Virginia
In West Virginia, the penalties for a DUI conviction are strict, and they can be even harsher for repeat offenders. The following are the most common penalties people can face if they’re convicted of DUI in West Virginia:
- First-time offenders can face fines, license suspension, and even jail time, depending on the circumstances of the offense.
- Second and subsequent DUI convictions can result in a longer license suspension, higher fines, and mandatory participation in alcohol treatment programs.
In addition, if a DUI conviction is on your record, it can prevent you from getting jobs and obtaining housing. In some cases, a DUI conviction can also cost you your medical license, law license, security clearance, or custody of your children.
To learn more about how Sutton & Janelle, PLLC can help you if you have been charged with DUI in West Virginia, call us at (304) 867-0049 or reach out to us online today for a free, no-obligation consultation.