In West Virginia, driving under the influence of alcohol or any other kind of drug is considered to be a serious offense and treated with the same importance. When someone drives under any intoxicating influence, he is not only putting his own life at risk but also risking the lives of people around him. Alcohol affects a person’s judgment ability, impairs his vision, and reduced his alertness on the road. He can be responsible for destroying families and blamed for the loss of many loved ones. And even if the accident is not fatal, it might still cause injuries that the victim and his family have to overcome. So, if you have been accused of DUI or know someone who has been charged with similar offenses, you must immediately get in touch with a criminal defense attorney specializing in DUI cases.
Being a Morgantown criminal defense attorney who regularly represents all those who have been accused of DUI, I have been diligently following the news of House Bill 2664 or rather more commonly referred to as “Andrea and Willy’s Law”. This was signed into law by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin this week.
There are many people who are unaware of the fact that this bill which is supposed to increase some of the penalties for DUI in West Virginia was actually named after a young man who met with a car accident and lost his life in 2009. This young man’s friend who was also driving the car, Kevin “Josh” Jackson confessed to the investigating officers about being drunk during the time of the car crash. So, after being convicted he was sentenced to serve in the prison for a year. The bill has also been named after a fourteen-year-old girl who also met with a car accident because of a drunk driver who had a history of Dui convictions.
Even though the governor has signed the bill into law on the 27th of May, regarding the penalty of causing the death of a severe injury while DUI becomes a felony, it will not come into effect until the 16th of June. This long verbiage means that when a driver is found to be guilty of a DUI offense causing serious injuries or death, he or she can face imprisonment for up to five years along with a fine of as much as $3,000.
Presently, West Virginia law has not made jail time mandatory for any DUI convict accused of causing death. However, according to the law, there will be additional penalties for anyone who will be charged with a second or subsequent DUI. As I have mentioned innumerable times before, this law just suggests the tough calls taken by West Virginia against all the DUI drivers.
If you have been charged with a DUI and are failing to understand the law or the consequences it might have for you, please feel free to contact me and call my office now for a free consultation. Allow me to assist you with any legal means possible.