Drunk drivers risk their own safety and the safety of others on the road, which is why DUI laws can be so strict. A DUI can affect your future both in the short and long-term if serious enough.
Not all DUI charges are equal. FindLaw takes all that legal tape and breaks down what constitutes a DUI. West Virginia identifies three:
Per se DUI
Per se DUI refers to the established limits that remove the need for further proof of intoxication. No matter how sober you might feel, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above 0.08 percent, the law considers you impaired. This does not mean you have an open and shut case in front of you. The validity of roadside testing and the accuracy of the machine can factor into a criminal defense.
Underage DUI (Zero Tolerance)
It is illegal for people under age 21 to purchase or possess alcohol. Even a weak beer can bump BAC above the 0.02 percent limit that West Virginia has in place. Due to the high number of teen traffic accidents and the frequent addition of underage alcohol influence, these laws crack down on the slightest infraction.
These DUI laws are more like add-ons to the standard DUI. Blowing a 0.15 or higher on the breathalyzer rules you extremely intoxicated. It is still a DUI but carries far higher penalties. Other factors like driving with a minor in the car or driving at high speeds can bump a normal DUI to aggravated.
While this is not legal advice, it is not recommended to test these various laws and limits. Understanding them can prepare you just in case you are on the wrong end of a DUI charge.