Drug and Alcohol Laws in the State of West Virginia
If you live in or want to visit West Virginia, you might know it’s called the Mountain State, since the entire state fits within the Appalachian Mountain Range. But do you know other helpful information about this area, such as whether marijuana is legal here and what the DUI laws are?
If you plan to spend any time in this state, you should know the answers to these and similar questions. You can get started by learning about the following drug and alcohol laws in West Virginia.
DUI Laws in West Virginia
Driving under the influence (DUI) is illegal in West Virginia. The penalties include fines, jail time, and a revoked driver’s license.
In West Virginia, you can get a DUI for driving a car with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or more. But even if your BAC is as low as 0.05%, you could be fined and get your license revoked.
Zero Tolerance Laws for West Virginia
West Virginia has a Zero Tolerance law for underage drivers. So, if you’re under 21 years old, your legal BAC is 0.02%, not 0.08%. This often means a minor could be over the legal limit after just one drink.
Is Marijuana Legal in West Virginia?
Recreational marijuana is illegal in West Virginia. While medical marijuana is legal, you can only use edibles, creams, oils, and other cannabis-infused products. Currently, smoking marijuana—even for medicinal purposes—is illegal.
Drug and Alcohol-Related Crimes in West Virginia
Drug crime in West Virginia includes:
- Possession of controlled substances: If the police catch you with an illegal drug for personal use, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. This comes with fines and jail time.
- Selling or manufacturing controlled substances: If there’s proof you plan to make or sell drugs in West Virginia, you’re likely facing a felony. This results in time in prison and large fines.
- Drug trafficking or transporting: If you’re caught transporting drugs into this state to sell to dealers or users, you could face a felony. This comes with years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
Alcohol-related crime in West Virginia includes:
- Underage drinking: Drinking, possessing, or buying alcohol under age 21 is illegal in West Virginia.
- Furnishing alcoholic beverages to a minor: It’s illegal for an adult to give or sell alcohol to a minor.
- Using a false ID: It’s a crime for minors to show a false ID to buy alcohol.
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI): It’s illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol.
Penalties for Drug or Alcohol Abuse in West Virginia
If you break any of these drug and alcohol laws in West Virginia, you could be facing these penalties:
DUI Penalties in WV
Your first DUI offense in West Virginia can lead to:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- $100 to $500 in fines
- License revoked for 6 months
For a second offense, you could get 6 months to 1 year in jail and $1,000 to $3,000 in fines. A third DUI could get you 2 to 5 years in jail and $3,000 to $5,000 in fines.
Zero Tolerance Penalties in WV
Breaking the Zero Tolerance law for the first time in West Virginia could lead to:
- $25 to $100 in fines
- Revoked license for 60 days, or 30 days with an ignition interlock device on the car
For a second offense, Zero Tolerance penalties include 24 hours in jail and $100 to $500 in fines. Your license will also be revoked for 60 days, and the ignition interlock device is required.
Cannabis Penalties in WV
The first time you’re caught with cannabis in West Virginia, you’re facing a misdemeanor. This crime carries a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days to 6 months in jail.
For a second offense of marijuana possession, you could get up to 1 year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
The contents of this article do not constitute legal advice. Consult with a lawyer before making decisions that could lead to drug or alcohol charges.
Seek Treatment for Drug & Alcohol Abuse in West Virginia
If you’re worried about the drug and alcohol laws in West Virginia, this could be a sign that you need help treating an addiction. Contact your local treatment center today to get started on your path to healing.
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