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West Virginia, ‘Party Plates’

When dealing with an DUI case, it’s important to remember the requirements set by West Virginia. Your Wheeling WV DUI lawyer will alert you to the fact that drivers with limited driving privileges after an DUI need to replace their regular license plates with bright yellow DUI plates, commonly known as “party plates.” These plates, adorned with red lettering, are also officially referred to as “restricted license plates.”

It’s crucial to note that if you are required to have party plates, you must personally handle the installation and payment for them. However, depending on the charges you are facing, the use of party plates may be optional or mandatory. For example, a first offense DUI may make party plates optional, while a first offense with a high BAC or subsequent offenses within a certain time frame would make party plates mandatory.

During your period of limited driving privileges, it is required that you install party plates on any vehicle you will be operating, with the exception of work vehicles. In this case, it is vital that your employer is aware of your restricted driving privileges.

When are Party Plates Required?

Remember that you are not allowed to replace the party plates until you have completed your entire period of limited driving. The duration of this period will vary depending on the circumstances of your case, which could range from months to years.

Now, let’s discuss when party plates are required. In certain situations, their use may be optional, while in others, they are mandatory. For clarification, here is a breakdown:

  • 1st Offense DUI: Optional
  • 1st Offense with a high BAC: Mandatory
  • 2nd Offense or more in a ten-year period: Mandatory
  • 4th Offense or more in a twenty-year period: Mandatory

Please note that party plates may be a condition of limited driving privileges. In such cases, you will be required to fill out an application for registration of a motor vehicle with restricted plates. This application must then be approved by the judge, a magistrate, or another court official. Once approved, you can bring the application to your local BMV office, return your old plates, and obtain the new restricted plates. Remember, without the presence of the required plates on your vehicle, your limited driving privileges will not be valid.

What Can I Do to Keep From Being Forced to Have Party Plates?

The sight of those yellow and red plates might not bother some, but for many, it’s the most dreaded consequence of an DUI conviction.

If the thought of driving around with party plates on your car fills you with discomfort, there is hope. You have the right to contest the DUI charge and enter a plea of not guilty. However, it is highly recommended that you seek the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in DUI defense. With ever-changing and intricate DUI laws, having a legal expert by your side ensures that you navigate the complexities of the justice system effectively. A skilled Wheeling WV criminal lawyer will be your trusted companion throughout the trial process, working tirelessly to deliver the results you desire.

Party plates, also known as restricted license plates, have been part of West Virginia judges’ options since 1967. However, it wasn’t until 2004 that their use became mandatory.

Driving a vehicle with conspicuous yellow and red plates attracts attention. It can be an embarrassing and nerve-wracking experience. Every driver on the road will know you’ve had an DUI conviction. Your colleagues might inform your boss, or he might witness it himself when you park. This unwelcome attention could jeopardize your chances of a promotion or even cost you your job. Your neighbors will notice the plates and become aware of your criminal charge. Furthermore, law enforcement might subject you and your vehicle to increased scrutiny.

If you are facing a license suspension and desire the freedom to commute to work or school independently, or if you simply wish to challenge the party plate requirement, don’t hesitate to reach out to a reputable Wheeling WV DUI lawyer such as Sean Logue. With dedication, tenacity, and an in-depth knowledge of DUI law, Sean possesses the qualities necessary to be an effective advocate on your behalf. He is available around the clock to discuss your case and offers flexible payment plans.

To delve deeper into DUI law in West Virginia and learn more about restricted license plates, consult the West Virginia Revised Code, Title 45, Chapter 4511.19.

Client Reviews

I had hired Mr. Logue a few years ago for my gf at the time for charges she had gotten before I had met her, for prostitution. Big mistake to date her and pay for her lawyer as we didn’t work out but Mr. Logue far exceeded expectations. He got nearly all charges in 2 separate cases dropped for her...


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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