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DUI Differences and Defenses in Wheeling
Operating a Vehicle while under the Influence of drugs or alcohol, commonly known as DUI, is the charge one may face in West Virginia if caught driving drunk. Seeking assistance from a reputable Wheeling WV DUI Lawyer like Sean Logue becomes imperative in such situations.
DUI Laws in West Virginia
The drunk driving laws are clearly outlined in the West Virginia Revised Code (ORC), Section 4511.19. These laws specify that operating a motor vehicle in West Virginia under any of the following conditions is considered illegal:
- Having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher
- Being under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination thereof
There Is More Than One Way You Can Be Charged With DUI
A person can be charged with DUI if they exceed the commonly associated legal alcohol limit of 0.08 percent. However, commercial driver’s license holders have a lower limit of 0.04 percent when driving their commercial vehicles.
Alternatively, individuals can also be charged with DUI if they are below the legal alcohol limit but are under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both.
In West Virginia, drugs of abuse are defined under section 4506.01 of the ORC. These drugs encompass dangerous drugs, over-the-counter medication, or controlled substances that can impair a person’s reflexes and judgment when consumed in doses higher than normal.
Dangerous drugs, including prescription medications, are defined in Section 4729.01 of the West Virginia Revised Code. It is worth noting that legally prescribed and purchased drugs do not serve as a defense if they impair a person while operating a vehicle. It is the driver’s responsibility to read the drug facts sheets that accompany prescriptions and understand the potential effects before driving.
Being arrested for DUI does not automatically equate to guilt, as various defenses exist depending on the charges. A well-trained and experienced Wheeling WV Criminal Lawyer can navigate these defenses and guide individuals towards the best course of action for their case.
Are There Differences Between a DUI Charge and an DUI Charge?
There are distinctions between an DUI charge and a DWI or OMVI charge, as various states use different terms with slightly different definitions. For instance, in Pennsylvania, it is referred to as DUI, while here in West Virginia, it goes by the same name. Moreover, penalties for conviction and the elements that a prosecutor must establish can also differ to some extent. Nevertheless, all these charges come down to one fundamental offense: drunk driving.
In West Virginia, the prosecutor must prove several crucial elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure an DUI conviction. These elements include:
- Operation of a motor vehicle: It is important to note that operating a vehicle is not limited to driving only. Sometimes, even having the key in the ignition or the engine running while the car is parked can be sufficient.
- Intoxication: The prosecutor typically relies on evidence such as your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or a positive result from a drugs of abuse test to demonstrate your level of intoxication.
- Demonstrating intoxication through physical or mental state: In certain cases, the prosecutor may try to establish your state of intoxication without relying on BAC or drug test results. This can be done by using footage from the police officer’s chest or dash camera, as well as their testimony.
If you are facing DUI charges, feel free to reach out to us at (304) 381-3656 for a complimentary consultation. Our lines are open 24/7 to assist you.
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