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Underage DUI Attorney in Wheeling

West Virginia law has a specific offense called OVUAC, which stands for “operating a vehicle after underage alcohol consumption.” It is intended for individuals under the age of 21 who drink and drive. The charge is also commonly referred to as “underage consumption” and is described in Section 4511.19(B) of the West Virginia Revised Code. To understand this law in detail, consult with your Wheeling WV DUI lawyer.

While the legal limit for adults is 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC), minors have a significantly lower limit. Although the penalties for OVUAC are generally less severe, driving privileges and license suspension aspects remain consistent for both age groups.

The definition of OVUAC varies slightly depending on the type of test used to measure blood alcohol content (whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine). In most cases, if your results show a minimum BAC of 0.02 percent, you will be considered to be driving while intoxicated.

It’s important to note that if you are under the age of 21 and a police officer detects alcohol on your breath, you can be arrested for OVUAC, even if there are no apparent signs of impairment. West Virginia has a zero-tolerance policy regarding underage drinking and driving.

Driving after an OVUAC charge

There are consequences for teenage drivers (those under 21) whose BAC falls between 0.02 percent and 0.08 percent when tested using a breathalyzer.

Penalties for underage consumption and adult DUI differ to some extent. For instance, if the underage driver’s BAC is under 0.08 percent (or any other level mentioned in Section 4511.19(A) of the revised code), they will not receive an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

However, refusing to undergo chemical testing of blood, breath, or urine will result in an ALS. In such cases, the same rules applicable to adult DUI offenses will be followed, including the completion of BMV Form 2255 by the arresting officer.

Furthermore, an underage driver whose test results show a BAC above 0.08 percent (or any other level specified in Section 4511.19(A) of the revised code) will also face an ALS and the procedures outlined in BMV Form 2255.

Probable Cause in Underage Consumption

It’s important to remember that even if alcohol is not visibly affecting a minor driver, they can still be arrested for OVUAC. The focus is not on the driver’s impairment, but rather on the act of underage drinking and driving.

If an officer detects the smell of alcohol or suspects that the driver has consumed it, they have the right to request a breath test, even without probable cause of intoxication. Refusing the test or registering a blood alcohol content (BAC) reading between .02 and .08 percent can lead to the administrative suspension of the driver’s license for underage consumption, rather than an arrest for DUI.

The ALS form will be completed regardless, but it will only be processed if the driver refuses to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test.

When You’re an Impaired Underage Driver

If a minor is stopped by an officer for a traffic violation and the officer believes that the individual is impaired by alcohol or drugs, they will be arrested and issued an ALS. This arrest will be treated similarly to any DUI arrest, with charges worded accordingly.

The offender’s initial court appearance will be scheduled no less than five days after the arrest. If convicted, the juvenile will face similar penalties as an adult, including the opportunity to attend alcohol education classes.

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I was arrested on a felony 3 charge looking at at least up to 2 years in prison. County District Attorney didn't want to negotiate. After a lot of hard work, Sean was able to plead the case all the way down to just 90 days jail with a work release. Better deal than I realistically could have hoped...

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Mr. Logue took our son’s cases on very short notice (the first lawyer we hired wasn’t getting anywhere with either of the prosecutors and had actually turned one of the cases over to the court-appointed attorney). We hired Mr. Logue to go to trial if needed, but he worked with both prosecutors and...

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